PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas yesterday thanked President Duterte for defending him anew over the so-called ‘mañanita’ issue vowing to return the favor to the Commander-in-Chief by ensuring a continuing all-out crackdown against illegal drugs, criminality, terrorism and corruption.
In his first flag-raising ceremony at Camp Crame after being named as the 25th PNP chief on Tuesday last week, Gen. Sinas said he had mixed emotions over Duterte “pardoning” him for his birthday celebration last May as strict quarantine measures were being observed in Metro Manila.
“I’d like to thank the President for the trust and confidence. Ako po ay parang nahihiya na ko kay President lalong dinepensahan na naman po niya ulit ako tungkol po doon sa mañanita, ilang araw pa lang na ganon,” the top cop said.
“I have mixed feelings. Natuwa ako pero at the same time nahihiya. I’m very happy for the support of the President for me as his chief PNP,” he explained.
The President said the mañanita issue being thrown on Sinas was just a “small thing.”
“Alam mo kasi ‘yang mañanita, it’s a religious, almost a religious ritual. Nakaugalian na talaga ng mga Pilipino. Hindi kasalanan ng pobreng Sinas na ‘yan na pumunta sila doon, hindi naman niya alam,” the firebrand former Davao City mayor said.
“At kung may kasalanan siya doon, pardon na siya. Wala akong nakitang kasalanan na masama na may moral implications, may kasamang malisya, wala,” Duterte said.
The new PNP chief earlier told the public, specifically his critics that it’s time to move on and let him do his job amid the rude criticisms and remarks regarding the old ‘mañanita’ issue thrown on him after he was designated as the 25th PNP chief by President Duterte.
“Sa ngayon dapat tuldukan na natin ang mañanita. Naimbestigahan na ‘yan, nasa prosecutor na po. Nasa kanila na po. Six months na po at marami akong gagawin as Chief PNP at sana kung magkocover kayo sa akin, nakita ninyo naman ano talaga ginagawa namin,” the member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 said.
The PNP chief is leading the national police force’s ongoing search, rescue, relief and retrieval operations in Luzon areas devastated by powerful typhoon ‘Ulysses.’ On Saturday, he flew to Tuguegarao City to assess the situation in Cagayan Valley and meet members of the Police Regional Office 2 headed by Brigadier Gen. Crizaldo O. Nieves.
Since last Tuesday, the PNP has scored big in its anti-terrorism campaign in Mindanao, with members of the PNP Special Action Force headed by Major Gen. Bernabe M. Balba spearheading two counter-terror operations in Polomolok, South Cotabato and in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay which led in the killing of eight heavily-armed terror suspects.
Gen. Sinas told the public that the decision on the criminal complaints filed against him in connection with the ‘mañanita’ issue already lies on the hands of the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office.
“Mga batikos, kung ‘yun talaga ang paniniwala mo, wala akong magawa. Mauubos ang oras ko kung lahat po ay sasagutin ko…” he added.
The new PNP chief said he knows that being subjected to criticisms is always part of the job of a public official like a policeman but he does not have all the time in the world to answer all the criticisms against him.
“Sinabi ko na that’s part of the job, hindi po natin maiwasan ‘yun. Sinusundan ninyo naman ako since nag-Region 7 ako hanggang ngayon, part na po ‘yan. Sabi ko nga sa inyo, di ko naman pakialaman trabaho ninyo. Ako lang, pinapakita ko lang ‘yung mga gawaing tama at accomplishment namin,” he said.
Supporters of the new PNP chief said that many have been teasing him over the ‘mañanita’ incident unmindful of the fact that the general has done so many things for the country.
President Duterte last May did not fire or replace Sinas as NCRPO director when he figured in the controversial ‘mañanita’ for his 55th birthday last May and instead designated him as the 25thPNP chiefs since he is an ‘honest, good man,.’
Duterte said the ‘mañanita’ for Gen. Sinas’ birthday was not his fault as his people only wanted to greet him. “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.