Shameful, insensitive, and a brazen display of double standards.
Opposition congressmen blurted these words in describing on May 13, Wednesday, the birthday party thrown by NCRPO chief Major General Debold Sinas and his superior’s defense of his action.
“While relief volunteers are quickly arrested and detained for merely distributing food to poor families, PNP Chief Archie Gamboa was quick to cover up his general’s violations and cleared him for any accountability,” Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said in a press statement.
Gabriela Women’s Partylist and Kabataan Partylist, represented in the Lower House by Reps. Arlene Brosas and Sarah Jane Elago, respectively, also chided Sinas for the birthday bash that was documented by the PNP and posted on its Facebook page.
The lawmakers noted that police have been very strict in enforcing social distancing protocols for civilians.
It will be recalled that not even former Senator Jinggoy Estrada was spared by the police who apprehended him for distributing relief goods without getting authorization from the local government of San Juan, now headed by his bitter political foe, Mayor Francis Zamora.
“Aren’t they ashamed of themselves? First, they were insensitive enough to have a huge birthday party amid the lockdown. Second, they had the audacity to flaunt it in official social media pages of the PNP, putting in full display their apparent exemption from several lockdown measures including social distancing and prohibition of mass gatherings,” said Gaite.
The opposition solon called for an objective investigation of Sinas’s birthday party.
“We hope the PNP wouldn’t be bold enough to try whitewashing Debold again,” said Gaite.
Sinas celebrated his 55th birthday on May 8 with colleagues and friends counted among his well-wishers at Camp Bagong Diwa.
Gamboa said the NCRPO chief was not aware that friends had planned to give him a “mañanita.”
“This brazenly mocks arrested quarantine violators who suffered harsh treatment by the police, as well poor families who have yet to eat decently as the government’s cash aid remains out of sight,” the Gabriela partylist stated.
The partylist group asked Sinas to go on voluntary leave while an investigation on the incident is conducted.
“By hosting a birthday bash and insisting that no law is violated, a police general conveniently construes the law in his favor, while ordinary citizens were jailed for organizing relief operations,” said the Kabataan youth party.
It added: “Such act is a mockery of the rule of law and reeks of double standard.”