PNP chief orders internal probe on Sinas’ alleged birthday party
Robie de Guzman • May 13, 2020 • 451
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Archie Gamboa on Wednesday said he has ordered the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) to conduct an investigation into the alleged birthday party of National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Major General Debold Sinas.
In a statement, Gamboa said the probe will cover the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation of quarantine protocols during the surprise birthday celebration held for Sinas.
He said the chief of the IAS has been instructed to send a team to the NCRPO to initiate a formal inquiry into the incident.
“The PNP is not exempt from strict rules on mass gathering, and I am directing all unit commanders to prohibit any and all social gatherings,” Gamboa said.
In a message sent to UNTV, Sinas denied he held a party for his birthday.
“Wala po ako birthday party at wala dito mass gathering,” his message read.
He also clarified that the photos earlier posted on social media showing him receiving roses, cake and sharing a meal with his colleagues was a surprise mañanita organized by his personnel.
He stressed that the event followed health protocols after it drew flak as social distancing was allegedly not observed during the mañanita.
“Iyong dumalaw na nagmañanita sa akin ay kaunti lang na nag social distancing pa sila, and packed meals po ibinigay ko sa kanila,” he said.
The NCRPO chief added that he opted to distribute food packs and lechon he received as gifts to regional mobile force battalion (RMFB) stationed in every district so they won’t have to visit him at his police quarters.
“Marami ako ibinigay na packed meals sa mga kasama namin dito sa Camp Bicutan para hindi na pumunta sa quarters ko. Iyong mga lechon na pagkain na ibinigay sa akin ay binigay ko rin sa bawat districts ng RMFBs para hindi na sila magpunta and stand by sa Camp Bicutan,” he said.
Gamboa earlier defended Sinas, saying he does not see any violation that the NCRPO chief committed.
He also shared that Sinas had assured him that physical distancing was observed but he will look into any violation related to the event.
“I will look into it. I still trust pa rin naman Gen. Sinas. Alam naman natin napakahirap no’ng trabaho niya sa NCRPO but nevertheless it is not an excuse for him not to follow simple health protocols,” he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary, meanwhile, said that as a police official, Sinas should serve as an example in following health protocols amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“Ito yung tinatawag nating delicadeza. May pagkakataon na kailangan maging example ka,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
Former lawmaker Ruben Ecleo Jr., who was arrested on Thursday (July 30), is also believed to have been involved in the murder of his slain wife’s relatives, according to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
NCRPO Director PMGen. Debold Sinas said they received information that aside from being the tagged in the murder of his wife, Alona Bacolod Ecleo, Ecleo may also be involved in the murder of the father, mother, and siblings of his wife in 2002.
“May kinalaman siya but the case was not filed unlike iyong sa asawa niya. But everybody knows doon sa Cebu, na siya ang prime suspect (He is involved but the case was not filed unlike in the case of his wife. But everybody in Cebu knows he is the prime suspect),” he said.
However, Ecleo has denied the allegation.
“Wala. Hindi po, hindi ko alam po, (No, I do not know anything),” he said.
Ecleo was arrested in Pampanga on Thursday and is charged with parricide for the murder of his wife in January 2002. He is also facing graft charges for an anomalous project when he was still the mayor of San Jose, Surigao Del Norte. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
Four members of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) perished in a helicopter crash in Cauayan City, Isabela on Thursday (July 23).
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said five personnel were onboard the Huey Helicopter. They were conducting proficiency training for night flying in the vicinity of the Tactical Operations Group-2 area in Cauayan City when the accident happened.
“The two pilots, the other officer, and one of the two aircrew perished. The other airman survived the crash and is now undergoing treatment,” the AFP said in a statement.
The names of the victims are withheld until their relatives have been notified, the AFP added.
Meanwhile, AFP Chief General Felimon Santos, Jr. expresses deep grief and extends condolences and prayers to the families and colleagues of the airmen who perished in this air operations mishap. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is urging protesters planning to hold rallies on the day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) to just stage their protests online.
PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa said the PNP is always at maximum tolerance and reiterated that everyone is entitled to freedom of expression.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mass gatherings are discouraged to prevent the further spread of the virus.
“Nakikiusap lang kami na kung pwede (We are only asking if it would be possible to) just do it online because these are not ordinary times,” he said.
Gamboa also said they are coordinating with militant leaders to urge them not to hold street protests. He also assured that the PNP has prepared the security for the 5th SONA of the president.
“So ngayon ang mga traffic at security plan within and outside of the Batasang Pambansa ay firmed up na po at itong Wednesday magkakaroon kami ng final conference regarding po dito sa security preparations, (For now the traffic and security plans within and outside of the Batasang Pambansa has been firmed up. This Wednesday we will have a final conference regarding security preparations),” according to PNP Director and Directorate for Operations PMGen. Emmanuel Licup. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
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