MANILA, Philippines (MAY 13) – PNP (Philippine National Police) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac on Wednesday said that they will investigate possible violations that occurred during a birthday celebration last weekend.
The said birthday celebration was the one that occurred last May 8. National Capital Region Police Office chief Maj. Gen. Debolb Sinas hosted the said party despite COVID-19 measures.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Banac said that PNP chief PGen. Archie Gamboa has ordered an investigation on the matter.
“Ipinag- utos na ni PNP chief PGen Archie Francisco Gamboa sa Internal Affairs Service ang agarang imbestigasyon upang alamin ang buong pangyayari,” Banac said.
[Translation: PHP chief PGen. Archie Francisco Gambao has ordered the Internal Affairs service to conduct an immediate investigation on what happened in the birthday celebration.]
Banac added that this investigation was launched as a warning that “no one is above the law”. As an additional prong, he said that this was undertaken so that “no one else within their ranks will do the same thing.”
Prior to this, the PNP chief tried to downplay the situation and stated that it was just a “simple mañanita.” He even stated that the cops “observed” social distancing during the said gathering.
Former PNP chief, now Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa expressed his dismay on the actions of his former colleagues.
He said, “It could have been better if they just delivered the food pack at the doorsteps of every household to avoid mass gathering and violating the social distancing protocol.”
Other opposition lawmakers also stated that there transpired “double standards” in the said gathering.
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate said, “Under this administration, that has been the norm- double standard. That is the continuing normal as far as treating those ordinary, marginalized mortals…”
Representative Ferdinand Gaite also called out the top cop and his colleagues for having the audacity to “flaunt” their violation.
“First, they were insensitive enough to have a huge birthday party amidst the lockdown. Second, they had the audacity to flaunt it in official social media pages of the PNP…” he said.
Associate Justive Marvic Leonen also took to Twitter his sentiments on the matter.
He said, “The Supreme Court held a retirement ceremony of a justive with 40 years of service via a private videoconferenced ceremony. He deserves more but we had to do what was ethical while our people suffer. #NoBirthdayParties.”
As of writing, Sinas has issued a public apology. However, he cried foul on “edited” photos.
“Some of the pictures circulating in the social media were edited and grabbed from old posts. The pictures may depict itself however it does not define the totality of what really had happened,” said the NCRPO chief.
The controversial post has been deleted from the Facebook page of the police agency.
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