Sinas says sorry for birthday party during ECQ


National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Major General Debold Sinas has apologized for allowing his men to throw a surprise birthday party for him at their police camp despite the ban on mass gatherings while Metro Manila remained on lockdown. 

"I apologize for what transpired during my birthday that caused anxiety to the public. It was never my intention to disobey any existing protocols relative to the implementation of enhanced community quarantine," Sinas said in a statement sent to reporters on Wednesday, May 13.

NCRPO cops held a surprise birthday party for Sinas on May 8 to celebrate his 55th birthday. They gave a mañanita – an early morning serenade – for Sinas then they dines together without observing physical distancing, breaking quarantine protocols.

Sinas said he was fully aware of quarantine rules and had ordered his subordinates to follow them.

"They (NCRPO cops) were told to observe social distancing and other precautionary health measures. They were also told not to linger and prepare for the simultaneous relief distribution NCR-wide that day," Sinas said.

The Metro Manila police chief also said some posts circulating on social media were "edited" and from "old posts" but did not specify the social media pages or accounts where the supposed old, edited photos appeared.

The photos used by journalists who wrote about his birthday celebration were taken from the official Facebook page of the NCRPO posted on May 8, his birthday, but the post was no longer available as of Wednesday.

The PNP has launched an internal probe against Sinas and NCRPO cops. Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had also weighed in, saying what the top police official did was a "big no-no." –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.