JUST a rumor when exclusively reported by the Journal Group last Saturday, now it’s official that National Capital Region Police Office 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 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 to 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 nterior 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,” Sec. Roque said when asked about Duterte’s selection process.
“Nonetheless, tiningnan siyempre ni Presidente ‘yung track record ng kan’yang 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.
Maj. Gen. 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, not sparing police generals who have a habit of snubbing their Monday flag-raising rites for 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, President Duterte said he would not fire or replace Sinas despite the controversy saying the police official is an honest man and the ‘mañanita’ for his 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. He 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 himself seems to have confirmed that he won’t be given an extended term by President 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 him were General-now Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, Oscar D. Albayalde and Archie Francisco F. Gamboa.
Gen. Sinas will retire on May 8 next 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 especially in mid-2021 when all would be preparing for the 2022 national elections.
Officials said the appointment of Danao as the new Metro Manila police chief, it is clear that he is on his way to becoming the next PNP chief after Gen. Sinas. Danao will retire on Aug. 10, 2023.