Gabriela taunts NCRPO chief Sinas after issuing reminder on mass gatherings during Eid’l Fitr

May 22, 2020 - 7:13 PM
Debold Sinas in fatigue
NCRPO chief Major General Debold Sinas in a fatigue uniform on this photo uploaded by the NCRPO's public information office on May 9, 2020. (Photo from PIO NCRO via Facebook)

Gabriela Women’s Party on Friday taunted Metro Manila police chief Major General Debold Sinas after he reminded the public to avoid all forms of mass gathering during the upcoming Eid’l Fitr of the Feast of Ramadan.

The social media account of the party-list replied to a news item published on Twitter that reported on Sinas’ remarks in light of the upcoming holiday on May 25.

The report, published by GMA News, featured the chief of the National Capital Region Police Office mentioning that he already talked to Muslim leaders about the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on mass gatherings.

“Every year talagang nagtitipon-tipon ang mga ‘yan. Kaya nga ang ginawa namin, kinausap namin ang mga Imams na based sa directive ng IATF, close pa rin ‘yung malalaking mosques, wala pa rin pagtitipon kasi ‘yun ‘yung policy ng IATF,” he said in a press briefing.

“Ang sabi ni chief PNP magprepare kami kasi ‘yung mga mosques, guwardiyahan atsaka tingnan na ‘yung directive ng IATF ay masunod na walang pagtitipon-tipon o pagdadasal…” Sinas added.

He said that his office would not deploy police officers in mosques but mentioned that they would still patrol such areas.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared May 25 a regular holiday in observance of the Muslim’s “festival of breaking the fast” which is celebrated by the community for three days.

The Palace also stressed that existing community guidelines and stringent physical distancing measures must be observed amid the holiday.

Under the IATF’s guidelines, physical distancing must be strictly observed in public places to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus which has a high transmission rate.

The health department said that Filipinos must stay away from each other for at least one meter, which is nearly equivalent to a motorcycle’s length.

Meanwhile, Sinas’ reminders about the guidelines, which he and his subordinates allegedly violated when a birthday gathering was held for him earlier this month, prompted Gabriela to respond to him through a comment with a smiling emoji that appeared to taunt NCR’s top cop.

“How about birthday parties, sir?” Gabriela said.

The comment has earned more than 200 likes and 12 retweets as of publication.

The birthday boy

Sinas and his subordinates drew flak last week after the NCRPO Public Information Office shared pictures of his birthday gathering where law enforcers stood close to each other despite wearing face masks.

The Facebook post has since been deleted but screenshots showed that the cops were also seen crowding at a buffet table, a setting in which experts have precisely demonstrated in an experiment to show how fast the novel coronavirus can spread.

(Screenshot by Interaksyon)

Sinas then earned condemnation from Filipinos since there are strict guidelines against holding mass gatherings in light of the health crisis and amid the enhanced community quarantine.

He said that the gathering that surfaced online was mañanita or “a police and military tradition in which well-wishers visit their commander before dawn” for his 55th birthday.

The controversial “mañanita” was reported by international news outlets but that didn’t stop Sinas from continuously pursuing his duties as the top cop of Metro Manila.

Duterte expressed his disagreement over the possibility of firing him but the Palace eventually said that legal cases will still proceed against the cop which involves criminal and administrative charges.

The Internal Affairs Service of the Philippine National Police additionally said that it will not withdraw the cases despite the president’s statement.

Sinas and his subordinates are accused of violating the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act and a local ordinance in Taguig requiring the wearing of face masks and observance of physical distancing.