President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed National Police Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that Sinas’ appointment will be effective Nov. 10, 2020.
“Tinalaga po ni Presidente Rodrigo Roa Duterte si Debold Menorias Sinas bilang bagong Philippine National Police chief effective po bukas Nov. 10, 2020 (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has appointed Debold Menorias Sinas as new Philippine National Police chief effective tomorrow, Nov. 10, 2020),” he said in a Palace press briefing.
Asked for Duterte’s reason for appointing Sinas, Roque said it is “presidential prerogative”.
“Presidential appointments are really very executive in character. It is a prerogative of the President and he need not make any explanation for his appointment,” he said.
Roque assured that Duterte looked into Sinas’ track record and contribution to the administration’s aggressive anti-illegal drugs campaign.
He described Sinas as an “anti-drug crusader”.
He said Duterte’s marching order to Sinas is to continue the government’s campaign against illegal drugs and ensuring that the country is a safe place to live in.
“Ipagpatuloy pa rin ang war on drugs at ipagpatuloy pa rin ang gains na nakamit natin sa larangan ng peace and order na pinatunayan ng survey ng Gallup poll na number 12 tayo sa buong daigdig na pinaka safe na lugar (Continue the war on drugs and continue the gains we acquired in the field of peace and order which was proven by the Gallup poll wherein the Philippines was ranked as number 12 safest country in the world),” he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año agreed with Roque that the President has “absolute prerogative” to appoint the PNP chief from among the current PNP Generals.
“Police Maj. Gen. Sinas is qualified for the position. I expect Gen. Sinas to lead the PNP with intensity in the fight against illegal drugs, criminalities, extremists and communist bandits/terrorists.”
Año also said Sinas must “set the standards on the performance and discipline making every policeman counts while leaving no room for scalawags”.
Sinas will be replacing outgoing Gen. Camilo Cascolan.
Sinas, who hails from Butuan City, is an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Hinirang Class of 1987.
Before his appointment as Metro Manila police chief in October 2019, he also served as director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7), deputy regional director for administration of the PRO 12 (Soccsksargen), and director of the PNP Crime Laboratory.
He will serve as head of the police force until May 2021.
Last May 8, Sinas drew flak for over his pre-birthday celebration at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City that allegedly violated quarantine protocols.
Duterte refused to sack Sinas, because he believed Sinas was a “good and honest” officer.
Roque acknowledged that Sinas was “not perfect”, but insisted that he is Duterte’s “most-trusted” person for the job.
“Hindi man perpekto po si Chief Sinas ay napa-bilib po niya si Presidente sa kaniyang dedikasyon dito sa laban sa pinagbabawal na gamot (Chief Sinas may not be perfect, but he impressed the President with his dedication on the campaign against illegal drugs),” he said.
He urged the public to “trust” the President’s judgement.
“Naniniwala po si Presidente na magiging epektibo po si Chief Sinas sa kaniyang bagong katungkulan (The President believes that Chief Sinas will be effective in his new position) and let’s trust the President in his decision,” Roque said.
Roque said Sinas has six months to prove himself as a worthy head of the country’s police force.
“Let’s give him a chance and he has six months to prove his worth. Let’s see if after six months he will inspire people,” he added.
He also assured that Sinas’ appointment will not free him from charges for violating quarantine protocols.
“That’s not how our laws operate,” he said.
Cascolan, meanwhile, said he is thankful for the opportunity to serve the people despite having only a more than two-month stint.
“At least we have done so much for two months, we have proven a lot and if ever, tuloy tuloy pa rin ho ang ating trabaho (and our job will continue). I am happy because I was given the chance and never expected it because it was just two months away from my retirement,” Cascolan told reporters in a press briefing in Camp Crame.
He also shrugged off rumors that he would be heading to the Bureau of Customs after his retirement on Tuesday.
Asked what could he consider as his legacy, he said it is the localization program for the policemen or assigning them nearer to their areas of residence.
“You have basically given them what they want and they will work hard for it,” he said.
Cascolan believed that when police officers are assigned near or in the area of their residence, they are able to do their jobs better.
He, meanwhile, added that many things were accomplished in the aspect of getting rid of illegal drugs in the community.
Based on the latest data from the PNP, 357,069 suspects were arrested, 7,987 were killed and 1,290,768 surrendered in 234,036 anti-illegal drug operations conducted from July 2016.
Cascolan is the fourth member of PMA Class 1986 to be appointed as Chief PNP. The first was now Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Oscar Albayalde, and Archie Gamboa. (with reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)