Metro Manila’s next top cop sees diversity, big population as challenges

Ryan Macasero
Metro Manila’s next top cop sees diversity, big population as challenges
Brigadier General Debold Sinas makes the big leap from director of Central Visayas police regional director based in Cebu City to chief of the premiere NCR police office

MANILA, Philippines – Brigadier General Debold Sinas, the outgoing Central Visayas police regional director, said he would face big adjustments when he assumes his new post as National Capitol Region Police Office (NCRPO) director next week.

Sinas said as the next chief of the country’s premier megapolis he has to adjust to the larger police force, and secure a wide area and bigger population.

“They have almost 20,000 police (personnel),” Sinas said Friday, October 11, during a press conference in Cebu City, his prior home base before moving to Metro Manila. 

“They also have a population of about 14 or 15 million at night – double by the afternoon,” he added in a mix of Cebuano and English. 

The population of Central Visayas is less than half that number, with about 7 million people spread across the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor. 

In his new job as the big guy of NCRPO, Sinas will secure 16 cities and one municipality.

Sinas has been based in Cebu as head honcho of  the Police Regional Office-7 Central Visayas for about 1 year and 4 months, longer than than most of his predecessors.  

Language will also be challenge, said this Butuan City native who shares mother tongue and culture with his Central Visayas public.

In his new post, Sinas said he will have to adjust to a diverse population.

“We all speak Bisaya here, but the culture there is mixed,” he said. “There are Ilocanos, Bicolanos, Muslims and other people from Mindanao,” he added.

Sinas’ tenure as the Central Visayas’ police chief was marked by an intensified drug war.

He noted his biggest accomplishment during his stint was the confiscation of at least P1.2 billion worth of shabu over the course of a year of anti-drug operations. 

“All sources [of drugs] in the Central Visayas come from NCR,” Sinas noted. “We will try our best to confiscate those drugs before they’re sent out [of the NCR] and arrest big time pushers,” he added.

The Commission on Human Rights noted in February that the number of unsolved killings, where hundreds of victims were linked to the drug trade, increased during Sinas’ watch.
 (READ: Killings in Cebu rise as mayor, cops feud)

“There has been a spike of killings here in Cebu area and in particular we have actually provided assistance to some witnesses,” CHR Chairman Chito Gascon said during a recent visit to Cebu.

Sinas said he expected to receive the written order to transfer from Philippine National Police (PNP) Headquarters in Camp Crame by next week. (READ: Central Visayas top cop Debold Sinas is next Metro Manila police chief)

When asked what were his plans for the Big City, he said he would continue the programs of his classmate, current NCRPO director Guillermo Eleazar.

“I will not invent anything (new),” Sinas said.

“By following the directives, you’ll be doing things more organized. It’s already existing in our manuals and will will try our best to follow it. If we break it, that’s our problem,” he added.

Eleazar and Sinas are part of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Hinirang Class of 1987. –

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at