PNP launches internal probe into Sinas’ birthday party during ECQ

Rambo Talabong
Top cop General Archie Gamboa orders the PNP Internal Affairs Service to investigate whether Metro Manila's top cop and other police officers broke quarantine rules

VIOLATION? NCRPO chief Major General Debold Sinas parties with cops at Camp Bagong Diwa on May 8, 2020, despite a ban on public gatherings under quarantine. NCRPO photo.

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa has ordered an internal probe into the recent birthday party of National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Major General Debold Sinas. 

“General Gamboa ordered the PNP Internal Affairs Service to hold an investigation over what happened,” PNP spokesman Brigadier General Bernard Banac told Rappler in a phone interview on Wednesday, May 13.

The probe will cover the surprise birthday celebration for Sinas, who turned 55 on May 8, in Camp Bagong Diwa.

While all those at the party wore face masks, they did not only violate the government’s ban against public gatherings during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) but physical distancing rules as well. Photos taken at the event that were posted on the NCRPO’s official Facebook page – which were later deleted – showed this.

The IAS probe would determine if administrative charges may be filed against Sinas and his subordinates who prepared the party. If charged, and depending on the gravity of the offense, penalties may range from  suspension to dismissal from service. 

The IAS can also recommend criminal charges against the police officers who were seen violating quarantine rules they were supposed to be strictly enforcing themselves. 

In a radio interview on Wednesday morning, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Sinas should have pulled the plug on the surprise party as soon as it started, describing the celebration as a “big no-no” during a pandemic. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.