Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque recently bared that President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas as the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Asked why Duterte picked Sinas, Roque stressed that it is a “presidential prerogative” and that the president doesn’t have to explain his decision.
The Palace official added that Duterte looked into police official’s track record and his contribution to the “gains” achieved by the police.
Echoing Roque’s remarks, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said: “Police Maj. Gen. Sinas is qualified for the position,” adding that the new PNP must “set the standards on the performance and discipline making every policeman counts while leaving no room for scalawags.”
Many Filipinos, however, are not amused by his promotion. Several netizens went to social media to air out their dismay, with others bringing up the past issues surrounding Sinas.
Happy “Mañanita” Chief Sinas
Despite the government’s prohibition on mass gathering as part of enhanced community quarantine protocols in Metro Manila and other neighboring provinces, the then NCRPO chief celebrated his birthday with the other police officials through a “mañanita” in Camp Bagong Diwa last May 8.
The NCRPO documented the early morning celebration on its official Facebook page, on which it posted photos of the event with the caption, “Happy Birthday, Sir Dodong!!”
Photos of the event bared that Sinas, along with other police officers, were wearing face masks except when they were eating. They were also to close to one another, violatioling the government’s prescribed physical distancing rules.
The so-called “mañanita” celebration came amid a high number of police brutality incidents against ordinary citizens who allegedly violated quarantine rules – from not wearing face masks to even just going out of the house to find work to put food on their table.
Numerous Unsolved Killings in Central Visayas Under His Watch
Some of the high-profile cases that happened under his watch include the murders of Ronda Mayor Mariano “Nonie” Blanco III, former Cebu City assistant prosecutor Mary Ann Castro, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives Baby “Earl” Rallos and Von Rian Tecson.
On top of several deaths due to drug bust operations conducted by the local police, which resulted in minors’ deaths, a number of San Fernando, Cebu officials were also murdered by unknown assassins.
Also under Sinas’ watch, active police officers were also put to rest, namely: Jonathan Tilos, Melchizedek Batomalaque, and Delfin Bontuyan. Most of these murder cases remain unsolved.
Defended MPD Cop Who Hit Quiapo Residents With Yantok
Last April, Sinas said that Station 3 Commander Police Lieutenant Colonel Reynaldo Magdaluyo, who was caught allegedly threatening residents in Quiapo, did not hit them with a rattan stick. He reiterated that Magdaluyo just pushed the residents.
“Noong pinagbawalan sila ay nagresist pa, pinopormahan at ginigirian pa ang pulis. So ang nangyari, nagkainitan. Actually hindi naman pinalo lahat ‘yun. Pinagtutulak lang ‘yun. Nanigurado ang pulis na instead na ilabas ‘yung baril nila, ‘yun yantok na lang ang ginamit po para sumunod ang mga tao doon,” said Sinas.
Spearheaded Bloody “Oplan Sauron”
Following the Duterte’s Memorandum Order No. 32, signed on November 22, 2018 which aimed to “suppress lawless violence” in the provinces in Negros, Samar, and Bicol “in order to prevent further loss of innocent lives,” Sinas initiated on December 2018 “Oplan Sauron” that marked the start of the spiral of violence in the Negros provinces.
Multiple deaths of suspected rebels and alleged holders of unlicensed firearms surfaced in the province. At least 14 were killed in Negros Oriental in a single day on March 30, 2019. Eight were killed in Canlaon City, four in Manjuyod town, and two in Sta. Catalina town.
Caught On Cam Harassing A Family In Taguig
In a video that went viral on Facebook, police officers with Sinas are seen removing barbed wires and tires serving as a makeshift barricade of a house in Taguig.
Without carrying any document as a basis, Sinas’ group reportedly shouted at the family members and demanded them to leave the property. Sinas ordered his cops to take photos of the plate numbers of the family’s car and two motorcycles parked outside.
Sinas could be heard shouting at the family, saying: “That is police facility…. Amin ‘yan! Wala kayong karapatang mag-demand dito.”
Sinas’ “Anti-Media Policies”
Just last month, Sinas was castigated by Ang Probinsyano Party-List Rep. Ronnie Ong for his policies against the press and supposed “disrespect” towards the media.
“Isang napakalaking pagkakamali ang ginawang pagtalaga kay Brigadier General Debold Sinas bilang officer-in-charge ng PNP-National Capital Region Police Office dahil kahit bagong upo pa lang ay nagpapakita na ito ng kawalan ng paggalang sa malayang pamamahayag,” said Ong.
“General Sinas is an embarrassment to the police leadership and should be removed right away. Instead of immediately castigating the policemen involved in this caper, he is even trying to downplay their misdeeds,” he added.
The issue came after Sinas directed some NCRPO media members to vacate the press office as he will utilize it as an extension office. Ong also said Sinas had prohibited ambush interviews from reporters.
Sinas vs Left-Leaning Groups
Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Carlos Zarate had questioned Sinas’ recent meeting with Quezon City Regional Trial Court, who later on allowed police officers to search Bayan Muna and Gabriela offices in Negros Occidental.
This led to the arrest of as many as 62 activists in a span of days, including Reina Mae Nasino, the mother of baby River.
Looking back at these past issues, how did Sinas earn his promotion? There are far more deserving PNP officials who should succeed General Camilo Cascolan. Why Sinas and not them?
One adage goes: “One bad apple can spoil the barrel.” Even more so, given the already-rotten system in the PNP, expect it to decay even more with the appointment of a cop who is a violator of a simple quarantine protocol, an enabler of Duterte’s bloody war on drugs that killed thousands of Filipinos, among other inhumane accusations.
Roque earlier asked the public to give Sinas a chance to prove his worth in six months, saying: “Let’s see if he will inspire people.”
The top cop, however, had already received several “chances” from Duterte who have been tolerating Sinas’ actions since time immemorial. We’ve had enough, Mr. Roque. The Filipino people don’t deserve this.