MANILA – The possible suspension or even dismissal from service of embattled National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, will be decided once an administrative case is lodged against him, Malacañang said on Friday.
“The decision to relieve him (Sinas), to suspend him, or to dismiss him is part of the administrative case,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
Roque issued the statement a day after he confirmed that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is set to file on Friday a criminal case against Sinas and other senior police officers over the supposed breach of quarantine protocols during his controversial birthday celebration.
He reiterated that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has already directed the PNP’s Internal Affairs Services (IAS) to send him a copy of the results of its probe into the mass gathering for Sinas’ birthday.
Roque said the results of the PNP-IAS investigation would determine whether there is a need to file an administrative case against Sinas.
“Malacañang, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, has gone out of its way, to demand from the IAS the results of its investigation so they can decide whether or not administrative charges should be filed against Gen. Sinas,” he said.
Sinas is a third-level officer and a presidential appointee, thus, a clearance from the Office of the President is needed for the filing of administrative charges of the PNP, Roque explained.
“They will have to get Malacañang’s clearance before an administrative case can be filed against Gen. Sinas,” he said.
Photos showing a group of cops giving roses to Sinas and having him blow candles on his cake for his birthday bash have earned the ire of netizens.
The occasion, held at the NCRPO headquarters in Taguig City last week, qualified as a mass gathering, which is strictly prohibited in Metro Manila where enhanced community quarantine is currently being implemented.
Asked if Sinas would be temporarily relieved from his post pending the results of the investigation, Roque said, “I have no information, as of yet.”
Sinas has since apologized over the incident but said some of the pictures circulating on social media were edited and grabbed from old posts. (IA/PNA)