Sinas Apologizes Over Birthday Gathering but Claims Viral Photos were Edited

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief PMGen Debold Sinas released a statement on Tuesday regarding the alleged violation of quarantine protocols while he celebrates his birthday during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that drew backlash for supposedly flouting physical distancing and mass gathering guidelines.

In the photos of his statement shared by DZMM, NCRPO Chief Sinas said some of his officers and men with their deliberation held a traditional ‘Mañanita’ as a celebration of his birthday. He clarified that safety precautions against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were properly observed.

He clarified that some of the photos circulating online were edited and were taken from old posts. The pictures can depict itself but it does not specify the “totality” of what actually happened, he said. "Some of the pictures circulating in the social media were edited and grabbed from old posts. The pictures may depict itself however it does not define the totality of what really had happened."

But later apologizes to the public. "I apologize for what transpired during my birthday that caused anxiety to the public, he said. “It was never my intention to disobey any existing protocols relative to the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine," he added.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the birthday feast of Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas while strict quarantine protocols are in place.

“There is already an existing order to the NBI to investigate violations of quarantine protocols,” Guevarra told reporters in a text message. “My instruction is to look into all reported cases of non-cooperation/violation of quarantine protocols, regardless of who is involved. The NBI knows who these people are,” he added.

The photos of the Birthday Party of Gen. Maj. Sinas was uploaded to the National Capital Region Office's Facebook page but was later deleted. The photos showed guests lining up for a buffet and a band was also playing. A social media user estimated the number of attendees at 50, at a time when the mass gathering is banned to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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