The Makabayan bloc in Congress slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for defending National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas over the controversy involving the cop’s mañanita on his birthday.
In a statement, Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Arlene Brosas said Duterte’s refusal to remove Sinas from his post only shows the President’s “double standards” on quarantine rules.
“President Duterte said ‘the law is the law’ but the law enforcer and his party buddies who violated quarantine protocol get to keep their jobs. While alleged quarantine violators and relief workers suffer harsh treatment by the police, Duterte’s favorite public officials have free pass to twist rules as per their convenience,” Brosas said.
“Ang kredibilidad ng kapulisan na binagsak pang lalo ng mañanita ni Sinas ay ibinaon sa lupa ng pangulo. Patunay lamang ito na hindi ang mga ordinaryong mamamayan ang tunay na pasaway kundi ang mismong mga opisyal ng gobyerno na hindi sumusunod sa batas,” Brosas said.
Duterte said Sinas was a “good officer,” and it was not his fault that his subordinates serenaded him on his birthday.
Duterte said that Sinas will not be removed from his post amid the controversy.
“Sabihin mo the law is the law well… akin na yun. He stays there. Kailangan ko yung tao. Mas kailangan ko yung tao dito sa trabaho niya,” Duterte said.
“It is his time to be there. I do not believe in just firing him just because kinantahan siya ng happy birthday,” he added.
But Duterte’s refusal to hold Sinas accountable is unacceptable especially when his administration is using excessive force against ordinary citizens and relief workers and volunteers, said ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro.
“Tinatawag na mga pasaway at tinatakot gamit ang mararahas na batas ang ordinaryong tao at mamamayan na sinisikap lang ding malagpasan at makaligtas sa gutom at sakit na dala ng pandemiya at ng kabagalan ng gobyerno, pinapawalang-sala ang mga malalapit sa Pangulo,” Castro said.
“This administration cannot fool the people with its constant denial of the truth. It only has itself to blame in the growing unrest of the people demanding for justice, medical and socioeconomic solutions amid the COVID crisis,” Castro said.
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said the Duterte administration should not discriminate to whom the law should be applied.
“While the government goes hard after ordinary people and critics justifying these serious charges under the ‘dura lex sed lex’ principle, it treats Duterte supporters with kids gloves. What President Duterte did would further embolden General Sinas and other state forces to break the law and foster the culture of impunity,” he said.
“Huwag hayaan at itigil na ang di makatarungang ‘Dura Lex Para No Sinas’ (No law is hard to Sinas),” he added.
Philippine National Police chief Police Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa has directed the Internal Affairs Service to conduct a probe into Sinas’ birthday celebration.
Sinas has apologized for what happened during his birthday, but claimed that some of the photos that circulated were “edited.”
Sinas also said he would not take a leave pending investigation of his controversial mañanita unless he will be ordered to do so./Stacy Ang