MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has formally appointed the controversial chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas as head of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The news was confirmed by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque at a press briefing, Monday.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has appointed Debold Menorias Sinas as the new [PNP] chief, effective tomorrow, November 10, 2020,” Roque told reporters.
This is what he announced just after Police Gen. Camilo Cascolan, the current PNP chief, said earlier that it is not yet certain if Sinas will replace his position.
It will be recalled that Sinas became a controversial figure after celebrating his birthday, which was attended by a large number of people in the middle of the lockdown against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Although public gatherings are strictly prohibited, especially during the enhanced community quarantine, it will be recalled that Duterte defended him in May, and Digong even called him a “good officer” despite strong criticism.
“He is a good officer, he’s an honest one, and it’s not his fault if someone – someone will harass him on his birthday,” Duterte said in a speech while referring to the man ñanita (not party) of the police.
Despite the controversy, Roque said he would give in to Sinas and see if he could inspire people to abide by quarantine restrictions, even if he himself violated them.
“Let’s give him a chance. He has six months to prove his worth, and let us see if he will inspire people [to follow health protocols],” the president’s spokesman said.
Sinas was also named as the leader of the “Negros 14” killings in 2019, something that killed many peasants attached to the communist rebels.