PNP chief orders internal probe on Sinas’ alleged birthday party
Robie de Guzman • May 13, 2020 • 645
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)
Police authorities caught one of the 13 detainees that escaped from Caloocan Custodial Facility Unit Extension on Thursday (October 22).
The detainee, identified as Aries Dunacao, was caught in his home Thursday morning.
Caloocan Chief of Police PCol. Dario Menor said they still continue their manhunt operation for the other 12 whose crimes involve illegal drugs, illegal possession of firearms, and robbery.
Menor said the 13 detainees were under quarantine for 51 days and were supposed to get transferred to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Facility which might have pushed them to escape.
“Alam kasi nila na ililipat sila sa BJMP, kasi natapos na po sila ng quarantine ng 51 days, mayroon kasi kami na ginawa na rapid test noon (They know they will be transferred to the BJMP because their 51-day quarantine has been finished. We conducted a rapid test there),” he said.
Based on the rapid test for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), two of the 13 escaped detainees are positive for COVID-19, however they tested negative on the confirmatory or swab test.
Meanwhile, two police officers assigned to the Caloocan custodial facility were removed from their posts.
“They will be facing an investigation. In fact, we are now conducting the investigation,” according to Menor. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
The Philippine National Police (PNP) will not be holding office parties during the holiday season in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
PNP Chief PGen. Camilo Cascolan said the guidelines provided by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) states that mass gathering is prohibited in areas under GCQ.
Cascolan also said rather than spending for parties for the holiday season, said the money will be allotted to the government’s COVID-19 fund.
The funds can also be used for the agency’s food bank.
“No Christmas party for the Philippine National Police, they will understand that, instead of using the funds for the Christmas party. We will giving it out for COVID-19 patients or maybe for the COVID fund,” he said.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, in a statement, also said Metro Manila mayors also agreed to the protocol.
“Under GCQ bawal pa ang parties. Ang ating NCR nagkasundo ang mga Metro Mayors na GCQ muna tayo (Under GCQ, parties are prohibited.Our Metro Manila mayors agreed we are still under GCQ),” Año said.
Cascolan also reminded PNP ground commanders to increase police visibility especially in crowded places especially during the holidays.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has also announced that all its units will not be holding holiday parties this year.
In a statement released Tuesday, the AFP said the amount that would have been spent for the said Yuletide revelries will be merged with the mass of funds to address COVID-19 requirements of their personnel.
“Defer Christmas parties and similar celebrations as an austerity measure and as a gesture of sensitivity to our countrymen. Fellow Filipinos here and abroad have been suffering. And this is the least we can do to commiserate with the people we have sworn to secure and serve especially in this time of crisis”, AFP Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay.
The statement added that the ban on all festivities during the holidays also conforms with the health protocols that proscribes mass gatherings which the AFP strictly enforces and observes. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – A police general who was among the officials involved in a helicopter crash in March has passed away, a police official said Tuesday.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Colonel Ysmael Yu confirmed that Police Major General Jose Ma. Victor “Jovic” Ramos has died after more than seven months of fighting for his life.
Ramos, who served as PNP Directorate for Comptrollership, had been in critical condition since the chopper crash in Laguna. He sustained the most serious injuries among the seven people on board the helicopter, including then PNP chief General Archie Gamboa.
“The PNP is saddened by this news, in behalf of the CPNP PGen Cascolan, the Philippine National Police extends its condolences to the family and to PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986,” Yu said in a statement.
According to PNP chief General Camilo Cascolan, Ramos passed away around 12:07 a.m.
“I join the officers and personnel of the Philippine National Police in prayer and mourning over the passing of Police Major General Jose Victor Ramos at 12:07AM today after a long hard battle due to serious injuries he sustained during that fateful helicopter accident in San Pedro, Laguna on March 5, 2020,” he said in a separate statement.
Cascolan revealed that Ramos’ remains were cremated and brought to the Eternal Gardens in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
“He will be accorded full honors befitting a police general,” the PNP chief said.
Other police officials involved in the chopper crash were then Police spokesperson Lt. Col. Bernard Banac, Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Mariel Magaway, pilots PLt. Col. Ruel Zalatar and PLt. Col. Rico Macawili, crew member PSMSgt. Louie Estona and Gamboa’s aide de camp PCapt. Kevent Gayramara.
Magaway also suffered serious injuries but recovered and was discharged in May.
Zalatar, Macawili and Estona are currently facing investigation related to the crash. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
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