AS exclusively reported by the Journal Group last Saturday, it is now official that National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, Major General Debold M. Sinas will be the 25th Philippine National Police chief vice Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan who retires today at the age of 56.
President Rodrigo Duterte designated the Butuan City-born Sinas, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987, as the country’s new top cop effective today, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Journal Group sources said that President Duterte last Thursday summoned Sinas and PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar at the Palace to tell the two officials of his decision to not follow the PNP rule of succession by reason of seniority and instead appoint Sinas as the 25th PNP chief.
Sinas will be replaced as NCRPO director by Police Regional Office 4-A director, Brigadier Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. of PMA ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991.
On the other hand, Danao will be succeeded as Calabarzon police director by the senior police assistant to Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año, Brig. Gen. Felipe R. Natividad, a member of PMA ‘Bigkis Lahi’ Class of 1990.
“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,” Roque said when asked about Duterte’s selection process.
“Nonetheless, tiningnan siyempre ni Presidente ‘yung track record ng kanyang appointee. At matagal nang sinasabi ni Presidente na talagang si bagong PNP chief Sinas ay napakalaki ng naitulong sa kaniyang war on drugs,” Roque added.
Sinas previously commanded the PNP Crime Laboratory and the Police Regional Office 7 in Central Visayas before he was designated as Metro Manila police chief in October last year.
He also became Secretary to the Directorial Staff of the PNP when former PNP chief, now retired Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, was still the PNP Chief Directorial Staff.
AS PNP-SDS, Sinas gained fame for instilling discipline in Camp Crame specially when it comes to police generals who have a habit to snub their Monday flag-raising rites citing various reasons.
A recipient of over 300 awards and decorations since he was still a young Constabulary officer, Sinas is known to have performed very well in all his previous assignments specifically in waging administrative reforms and fighting drugs, criminality, terror and corruption. However, his critics found a way to hit him when his men gave him a ‘Mañanita’ or surprise birthday serenade in May last year while the NCRPO was strictly enforcing the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
However, Duterte said he would not fire or replace Sinas despite the controversy saying the police official is an honest man and the ‘mañanita’ for the new top cop’s birthday was not his fault as his people only wanted to greet him on his 55th birthday.
“You can say that the ‘law is the law.’ That is my responsibility. But I will not order his transfer. He stays there,” the President told a Cabinet meeting last May 19, days after the ‘mañanita’ incident’ drew criticisms from netizens.
The President also justified the non-wearing of masks, saying the policemen could not possibly eat had they worn masks. Duterte added that he looked at the merits and demerits of the case and concluded that he needs Sinas to continue serving as NCRPO chief.
Cascolan last September said he is keen on transferring Sinas to another position of major responsibility, most probably on ‘training’ the force but the plan did not materialize.
Cascolan himself seems to have confirmed that he won’t be given an extended term by Duterte although he said he is open to a new government force once he retires on November 10 at the age of 56.
“Yes, of course. I’m always here for the President,” said Cascolan, the 4th member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 to lead the PNP since the start of the Duterte administration.
Before Cascolan were General-now Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, Oscar D. Albayalde and Archie Francisco F. Gamboa.
Before Sinas was mentioned as the ‘probable next Chief,PNP,’ Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Año said he had submitted to Duterte the names of three candidates to replace Cascolan although he did not identify them.
However, the seniority rule means the candidates are Lt. Gen. Eleazar; PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne R. Binag; and PNP Chief Directorial Staff, incoming Lt. Gen. Joselito M. Vera Cruz Jr. All are mistahs of Maj. Gen. Sinas
Journal Group sources said Año forwarded the list based on the PNP rule of succession by seniority. However, the President, being the Commander-in-Chief has the prerogative to choose the PNP chief from any official with the rank of Brigadier General up.
Eleazar and Binag will be retiring in November 13 and May 24 next year respectively, while Vera Cruz will retire on March 8, 2022.
Sinas will retire on May 8 of the same year.
Highly-reliable sources said that with the Duterte administration nearing its end on June 30, 2022, the President is all set to appoint a PNP chief who has his full trust and confidence particularly in mid-2021 where all would be preparing for the 2022 presidential and national elections.
With the appointment of Danao as the new Metro Manila police chief, officials said it is a clear signal that he is on his way to becoming the next PNP chief after Sinas.
Danao will retire on August 10, 2023.