Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer

National Capital Region Police Office chief Debold Sinas is a pasaway general who has yet to face accountability for his crimes against the people. At the very least, he should be penalized for clear violation of ECQ rules when he allowed a “spontaneous” mañanita to celebrate his 55th birthday.Under Sinas’ watch, Metro Manila became a hotspot for human rights abuses. Lockdown restrictions led to draconian control of the population, the overkill deployment of troops in communities, and the imposition of harsh penalties on so-called pasaway or quarantine violators. Tens of thousands of desperate individuals seeking food, aid, and jobs were slapped with fines and even spurious charges for alleged ECQ violations. Sinas’ approach not only failed to flatten the COVID-19 curve, but also exacerbated the living conditions of Metro Manila residents.

Sinas is President Duterte’s brutal enforcer who is remorseless in undermining civil liberties and subverting due process. He is accused of masterminding the relentless attacks on peasant communities in Negros.

When he was deployed in Metro Manila, he quickly gained notoriety for the raids he conducted targeting leaders and community organizers of Bayan Metro Manila. Trumped-up charges based on fabricated evidence were used to detain five of our comrades from Gabriela, Kilusang Mayo Uno, and Kadamay. One of those arrested in the crackdown was Reina Mae Nasino.

He continued to use terror tactics in demonizing people’s organizations that are campaigning against the Manila Bay reclamation.

Sinas must answer for the ECQ violation, but we must also not forget his key role in militarizing the government’s COVID-19 response, and the human rights abuses conducted by troops under his command.

His promotion as PNP chief is an insult to the thousands who were victimized by police aggression and state terror during the pandemic. It is another proof that the people’s clamor for justice and accountability cannot be realized under the Duterte administration.

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