Año eyes Danao as next Metro Manila top cop

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday said he is considering Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao, Jr. to be the next top cop of Metro Manila.

Ang NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office) ay idi-deliberate pa pero ang nire-recomend na papalit kay Gen. (Debold) Sinas ay si Brig. Gen. Vic Danao na manggagaling sa Region 4-A. Yes, matutuloy na yan (We have yet to deliberate on who is heading to NCRPO but it was recommended that the replacement of Gen. Debold Sinas is Brig. Gen. Vic Danao who comes from Region 4-A. Yes, that would push through),” Año said in a radio interview.

This came as President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Sinas as the new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, replacing Gen. Camilo Cascolan.

Danao is currently the chief of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 4-A (Calabarzon) and served as a former director of the Manila Police District.

Meanwhile, Año also said the marching order of President Rodrigo Duterte to Sinas is to further intensify the crackdown on illegal drugs, criminality, insurgency, and terrorism.

Yan ‘yung tagubilin ng ating Pangulo. Natapos ‘yung aming command conference ay natapos at 1 a.m. at dalawa ang pinagdiinan ng ating Pangulo. Itong laban sa illegal na droga at laban sa CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines). Pinagdiinan talaga ng Pangulo yan (That is the order from the President. Our command conference ended at 1 a.m. and the President insisted on two things: the fight against illegal drugs and the fight against the CPP-NPA-NDF. The President emphasized that) and I would expect General Sinas to serve no less),” he said.

Año said he also expects Sinas to set the standard in terms of performance, professionalism, and discipline among police officers.

“There must be no room for scalawags,” he added.

He, meanwhile, added the case against Sinas and several other officers of the NCRPO over his mañanita birthday celebration in May has no implication on his appointment.

Wala naman siguro kasi separate naman yun. Ang kaso naman ay naisampa at ito ay under preliminary investigation so hindi pa ito umabot sa korte kaya hindi pa masasabi na ito ay isang pending case. Ito ay isang violation sa Bayanihan to Heal as One Act at saka violation ng ordinansa ng (I don’t think so because it is a separate matter. The case has been filed and is now under preliminary investigation so it has yet to reach the court so we cannot really say it is a pending case. This is a violation sa Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and a violation of an ordinance of) Taguig,” he said.

He added that the President has the absolute discretion and authority to choose the next PNP chief.

Hindi niya kailangan mag-explain. Kapag sinabi niya (He doesn’t need to explain. If he says), my trust and confidence are with this person, let’s give that person a chance,” he added.

Sinas and 18 other police officers face criminal charges before the Taguig prosecutor’s office for violating City Ordinance No. 12 of Taguig City, which requires the wearing of masks in public, and Republic Act 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

Duterte earlier vouched for Sinas saying if he knew about the plan, he will immediately call it off.

Sinas, who hails from Butuan City, is an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Hinirang Class of 1987.

Before his appointment as Metro Manila police chief in October 2019, he also served as director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7), deputy regional director for administration of the PRO 12 (Soccsksargen), and director of the PNP Crime Laboratory.

He will serve as the head of the police force until May 2021. PNA.GOV.PH