Philippines

Sinas’ birthday party during ECQ ‘a reflection of uneven implementation of the law’ – Diokno

By January 13, 2021 No Comments

MANILA, Philippines — The incident on the birthday party of  National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas is a reflection of how the law during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is unevenly implemented, Atty. Chel Diokno said on Wednesday.

“This incident, I think, is also a reflection of the kind of uneven implementation of the law that we have been seeing during this time of public health emergency,” Diokno, National Chairman of the Free Legal  Assistance Group (Flag) and a former senatorial candidate, said during a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap).

“When you have officials allied or identified with the administration who are ‘exposed to have been violating quarantine rules,’ and I’m not just speaking of the general, but of other higher officials, it would seem that the government is dragging its feet as far as going after them,” he added.

“Compared to those who are perceived to be against the government where you have law enforcement immediately going out, visiting their homes not just issuing subpoenas but actually arresting them without warrants.”

Diokno’s statement comes as the NCRPO chief is currently in hot water over photos of him allegedly celebrating his birthday amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed over Metro Manila due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sinas has since apologized but said that the photos that circulated on social media were taken long ago, while some were edited.

The Philippine National Police also previously said that it would investigate the matter.

Diokno, meanwhile, added that Sinas’ defense regarding the photos is a “factual assertion” that can be verified.

“So in that sense, since he has already pinned himself to that statement, then now we can establish technologically whether that is true or not,” the human rights lawyer said.

“And if it is shown that these are not edited, [that] these were actually taken during the time of the public health emergency while he was celebrating his birthday, then he should be held [accountable] for that,” he added.

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TAGS: Chel Diokno, COVID-19, Debold Sinas, enhanced community quarantine, national Capital Region Police Office, nCoV update
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