President Duterte has appointed former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Debold Sinas as an undersecretary in the Office of the President.
This was confirmed to Malacañang beat reporters at past noon Saturday, Sept. 11 by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Sinas takes on his new role in the executive branch just four months after retiring as PNP chief. Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar replaced him as head of the 220,000-strong national police force.
Perhaps the incident that most Filipinos associate with Sinas is his so-called “mañanita” birthday party in May 2020 when he was still commander of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
At that time, the Philippines was still grappling with the initial surge of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and strict measures against physical distancing and public gatherings had to be implemented.
But this did not stop Sinas's subordinate officers from throwing him a surprise birthday party that, based on pictures, seemed to have violated such measures.
Presdient Duterte eventually cleared Sinas of any violation in connection with the event.
Last Sept. 9, the Chief Executive designated National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. as the deputy director-general of the National Security Council (NSC).
The appointments of Sinas and Parlade shows Duterte's continuing preference to appoint retired police and army generals to senior posts in government.