Lacson urges netizens: Stop sowing hatred against NCRPO chief over ECQ birthday get-together

Robie de Guzman   •   May 15, 2020   •   553

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday appealed to some social media users to stop sowing hatred towards Metro Manila’s police chief who was embroiled in controversy after allegedly violating quarantine protocols during a “mañanita” held for his birthday last week.

Lacson said National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Major General Debold Sinas has already “apologized and regretted his indiscretion,” and that he has been “bashed, criticized and pilloried both on social media and mainstream media” for the incident.

“Whichever way one looks at it, NCRPO chief Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas set a bad example in committing what he did during his birthday ‘mañanita’ or whatever he wants to call it,” he said in a statement.

“Certainly, he should get the punishment he deserves even as the appropriate authorities are already investigating him,” he added.

“However, we may also want to take into consideration his long law-enforcement service to the country and the Filipino people, and his present efforts in supervising the checkpoints all over Metro Manila to make us safe from the coronavirus threat,” he further stated.

But Lacson clarified that his statement is “not to suggest forgiveness or absolution” for Sinas.

“Rather, it is an appeal to concerned netizens not to rub salt to injury by going to the extent of posting out-of-date photos to sow more hatred towards Sinas by exploiting the naïveté of certain individuals to join the bandwagon of hate towards the police officer,” he said.

Sinas earlier apologized for what transpired during his birthday, saying he did not intend to disobey protocols related to the implementation of the ECQ to contain the spread of COVID-19.

He also said that some of the photos circulating online were “edited and grabbed from old posts” and do not define the totality of what really happened.

The photos, earlier posted on the NCRPO Facebook page, showed Sinas handing cakes and roses during the event. A photo also showed Sinas sitting at a table with guests.

The photos were said to be taken during a party held for Sinas to celebrate his birthday. Police officers gave him a mañanita, a traditional early morning serenade, where they dine together.

The said event was met with criticism for allegedly breaking quarantine rules.

Philippine National Police chief General Archie Gamboa said he already ordered a probe into the incident.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also said that Sinas, as a police official, should serve as an example in following protocols especially those related to the containment of COVID-19.

Lacson tells DICT to aim for faster PH internet speed

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on national defense and security, on Thursday urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to aim for an “excellent” speed of internet connection.

Lacson made the remark in response to the view of DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II that the Philippines “is not doing too badly” in terms of internet speed performance during his agency’s 2021 budget hearing in Congress.

“With all due respect to a highly regarded Cavalier and distinguished former Senate colleague, “not so bad” may sound worse than ‘not so good,’” he said in a statement.

Honasan earlier said that while other countries have 55 megabytes per second (mbps) internet speeds, the 3 to 7mbps internet speed in the country “is not that bad” amid complaints over slow speed.

“In the middle of a pandemic when the order of the day is virtual communication, what we want to hear, at least realistically, is ‘good enough,’” Lacson said.

“Of course, it goes without saying, ‘very good’ or even ‘excellent’ is what we all want to hear from DICT. Clearly, there is much room for improvement,” he added.

According to the DICT, the country’s current internet speed could reach up to 25.07mbps, compared to the maximum 7.91mbps in 2016.

The agency said the country’s slower internet connection is due to lack of telecommunications infrastructure compared to other countries that have fix broadbands which require lots of telecommunication towers and fiber optic cables.

PNP chief Cascolan eyes Danao as next NCRPO head

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Camilo Cascolan on Wednesday said he is considering Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr to be the next head of the Metro Manila police.

In a TV interview, Cascolan said Danao is competent and suited to lead the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

“Well, whether NCRPO or CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) is good but I would rather choose him for NCRPO because he is much better in the NCRPO,” he said.

Danao is the current chief of the Police Regional Office 4A and served as former head of the Manila Police District.

In response to Cascolan’s remark, Danao said he is ready to serve and do his best in whatever capacity.

“Rest assured that in whatever capacity I will be in, this representation, will always do its best to enforce the law without fear and favor, maintain peace & order, prevent and control crimes, and ensure public safety & internal security with the active support of the Community,” he said in a message to UNTV News.

Meanwhile, Cascolan said he is still evaluating the performance of current NCRPO director Major General Debold Sinas, adding that he could possibly be promoted to a higher position.

“Of course, the guy deserves also an evaluation and of course a promotion too. He has done good things and that’s all I can really say,” he said.

The PNP chief Sinas could be designated as directorial staff where he can put to use his expertise in training and recruitment of police personnel.

“I think he needs to be up to the directorial staff or in a certain position that is fit mostespecially for it. I believe he is an expert most especially with regard to training to personnel and training of recruits,” he said. “Debold is also a seasoned officer wherein he experienced a lot of things.”

Cascolan also revealed that he canceled the ‘midnight’ appointment of several PNP officials, which he said were made by former PNP chief Archie Gamboa a few days before his mandatory retirement.

He, however, refused to provide any details about the concerned officials and their positions. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

LTFRB mulls resuming operations of provincial buses from Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 16, 2020

After six months of temporary suspension due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is now eyeing to resume operations of provincial buses from Metro Manila.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra said they are continuously preparing and coordinating with several local governments on the possible return of provincial buses.

However, there are still provinces that continue to ban the entry of travelers from Metro Manila. Delgra said only Antique, Quirino, and Bataan agreed to open its doors to buses coming from Metro Manila.

“Whatever the case may be, we need to closely coordinate with the LGUs concerned because at the end of every trip it is the LGU that will receive and manage passengers in their respective jurisdictions,” he said.

Meanwhile, several local officials recommended a point-to-point scheme for provincial buses. The LTFRB reiterated they will also consider the areas along the route of the buses.

“They are suggesting na parang point to point po iyong pagbi-biyahe,” Delgra said.

Provincial bus operators have been appealing to the government to allow the resumption of their operations even if its on a limited capacity. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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