Filtered By: News

Drilon: Duterte's defense of Sinas erodes public's confidence on enforcement of quarantine rules

President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to keep Police Major General Debold Sinas as chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) despite his mañanita controversy affects the public's perspective on quarantine rules, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Wednesday.

"That erodes the confidence of our people on the ability of the government to enforce the rules of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). The IATF has imposed this social distancing and the implementer is the Philippine National Police (PNP)," Drilon said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

The lawmaker underscored that when implementers do not follow the protocol, they lose the moral ascendancy to encourage others to do so.

"The PNP itself does not follow the rules enforced by the IATF, you will find difficulty for the ordinary citizens to follow the same rules," he added.

The President said he will not order the transfer or dismissal of Sinas who has drawn criticism for having a birthday celebration despite the ongoing prohibition to hold mass gatherings amid the quarantine.

"He is a good officer, he’s an honest one, and hindi niya kasalanan kung may magharana sa kanya sa birthday niya," Duterte said.

"At kung ‘yun namang sabi na nakikita hindi naka-mask, eh siyempre may mga meryenda ‘yan, may pagkain. Alangan naman kainin nila pati ‘yung mask. ‘Di tanggalin talaga nila. Kainan iyon eh," he added.

Duterte further said he also weighs the merits and demerits of Sinas.

"Mas kailangan ko iyong tao dito sa trabaho niya... They are all competent. But you know seniority. It is his time to be there and I do not believe in just firing him because kinantahan siya ng Happy Birthday," he said.

"Sabi mo, 'the law is the law.' Well, akin na iyon. It’s my responsibility. But I will not order his transfer. He stays there until further orders," he added.

On the other hand, PNP-Internal Affairs Service Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said Duterte's statement would not affect the criminal and administrative complaints filed against Sinas.

Sinas has since apologized for the mañanita incident but claimed that some of the photos circulating online have been edited and grabbed from old posts. —AOL, GMA News