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Palace to decide fate of police officer who violated lockdown

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Malacañang Palace

MALACANANG will decide the fate of a high-ranking police officer who celebrated his birthday this month with friends amid a lockdown meant to contain a coronavirus pandemic.

The presidential palace was just waiting for the results of an internal police probe of National Capital Region police chief Debold M. Sinas and his well-wishers, spokesman Harry L. Roque said at a news briefing on Monday.

“The palace will decide if administrative cases should be filed and whether General Sinas will be fired,” he said.

The national police must get presidential clearance before filing administrative charges, Mr. Roque said. Mr. Sinas is a presidential appointee.

Police filed criminal charges against the Metro Manila police chief last week after he and about 50 policemen were seen breaking quarantine rules during his birthday celebration.

Mass gatherings are prohibited and physical distancing must be observed during the pandemic.

Mr. Roque’s statement comes after police chief Archie F. Gamboa said Mr. Sinas would remain Metro Manila chief pending his criminal case.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra last week said the National Bureau of Investigation would probe the incident, adding that state agents must “enforce the laws fairly.”

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año had called the event “uncalled for,” adding that government officials should observe “delicadeza.” — Gillian M. Cortez





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