Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Debold Sinas finds himself once again embroiled in another Covid-related controversy after the Oriental Mindoro provincial government accused him of breaking Covid19 health protocols last week.
Officials alleged that Sinas did not subject himself to the required health screening during his brief visit to Calapan City last Thursday (March 10).
(That very same day, Sinas was also reported to have tested positive for Covid19 forcing him to go on medical leave of absence.)
Sinas, who arrived on a PNP helicopter, allegedly bypassed screening procedures for all visitors at the Calapan pier as he went straight to Camp Efigenio Navarro, headquarters of PNP Mimaropa, without any medical staffers of the provincial health office to meet him.
However, acting PNP chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar denied Sinas had violated any health protocols, citing the fact he had gone there on official duty.
Sinas previously was widely criticized for the so-called “mananita affair” when dozens of subordinates feted him during his birthday (May 8, 2020) in his Camp Crame residence, at the height of the strict quarantine lockdown, in blatant violation of IATF rules and regulations forbidding such unnecessary mass gatherings.
Governor Humerlito Dolor said that while he had no personal knowledge about the Sinas incident, he would tend to believe allegations of Calapan City officials that the PNP chief indeed failed to observe local health profiling procedures.
“If Calapan officials say no health profiling had occurred for Sinas, then he has to be held responsible,” he was quoted as telling a TV interviewer.
He said Sinas should not be exempt from the province’s prevailing health regulations, even if he is a government official, and therefore should be accountable.
Calapan City Mayor Arnan Panaligan pointed out that although the IATF had relaxed travel rules by allowing online registration, the trip of Gen. Sinas had not been properly coordinated with the city government to avoid any complications.