Duterte names Sinas as next PNP chief

MANILA, Nov 9 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Police Major General Debold Sinas as the next chief of the Philippine National Police, Malacañang said Monday.

Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement a day before the retirement of outgoing PNP chief Police General Camilo Cascolan. Sinas is currently the chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.

“Presidential appointments are really very executive in character. It is a prerogative of the President and he need not make any explanation for his appointment,” Roque said at a news conference.

“Nonetheless, tinignan siyempre ni Presidente ‘yung track record ng kanyang appointee. Matagal nang sinasabi ni Presidente na talagang si bagong PNP chief Sinas ay napakalaki ng naitulong sa kanyang war on drugs.”

Roque said the President expects Sinas to continue the fight against the illegal drug trade and build on the gains of the government’s peace and order initiatives.

Sinas became controversial over the mañanita held on May 8 to mark his birthday, which allegedly violated the ban on mass gatherings and the social distancing rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite his appointment, Malacanang clarified that Sinas is not yet off the hook over the mañanita controversy.

“I don’t think so po, that’s not how our laws operate,” Roque said.

Despite the controversy, Duterte earlier said that he would not remove Sinas from his post, saying it was not his fault that his subordinates serenaded him on his birthday. He also described Sinas as a “good” and “honest” police officer.

The President’s defense of Sinas put into question the sincerity of the government’s drive against quarantine violators with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon claiming it might erode public confidence in the ability of the coronavirus task force and the police to enforce the rules.

Sinas belongs to the Philippine Military Academy Hinirang Class of 1987. He will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on May 8, 2021. (MNS)

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