Duterte clears Sinas in mañanita controversy

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday cleared Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas of violation of rules months after his highly-criticized birthday mañanita where more than a dozen visitors attended despite the lockdown restrictions at that time.

“This is my call. I take full responsibility but I also guarantee his (Sinas’) competence and expertise in police work,” he said in a recorded message, defending the police chief’s appointment.

Duterte said it was not Sinas’ fault that his colleagues decided to surprise him. For him, Sinas is as good as pardoned.

“Pumunta lang ‘yong ibang sundalo kasi mañanita nga, hindi naman alam ng pobre, alangan namang sigawan niya na umuwi, eh di harapin niya (His colleagues went because it is a mañanita, the man did not know, it’s not as if he can turn them away)” he said.

He added that the criticisms hurled against Sinas are nothing compared to corruption.

“Kung may kasalanan siya doon, pardon na siya. Wala along nakitang kasalanan na masama, na may moral implication, na may malisya (If he is indeed at fault, then he’s pardoned. I don’t see anything wrong, any moral implication, any malice).”

Sinas was appointed as the 25th chief of the PNP, replacing now-retired Gen. Camilo Cascolan who led the office for two months.

President Duterte’s marching orders to Sinas is to continue the government’s campaign against illegal drugs and ensure that the country is a safe place to live in.

In the same address to the nation, Duterte assured that the government is working hard to help the victims of massive flooding caused by Typhoon Ulysses.

“We were working. We were here. There was a (Asean) summit going when the typhoon was passing by. Ang sabi kapag dumaan ng typoon take off tayo (I said after the typhoon, let’s take off),” Duterte said.

Duterte is set to visit the typhoon victims in Cagayan Valley and Camarines Sur on Sunday.

“I’m a worker of government. I work for the entire Philippines,” Duterte said. PNA.GOV.PH