By REIN TARINAY
MANILA — Filipino netizens are up in arms over the series of photos of “mañanita” for Major General Debold Sinas, National Capital Region Police Office chief, who celebrated his 55th birthday.
The now deleted album uploaded to the official Facebook page of the NCRPO showed Sinas celebrating his birthday with his troops at Camp Bagong Diwa. Due to the uproar, the police has claimed the photos were “edited.”
This has stirred reactions from netizens, assailing the Philippine police’s double standards. Photos showed Sinas receiving roses, blowing the candle on top of a Voltes V-inspired cake and men and women in uniform eating food from a buffet table.
Sinas, an implementor of quarantine protocol, denied there was a party.
Human rights groups have earlier criticized the Philippine government for arresting more people than conducting mass testing to combat the dreaded virus.
A separate set of photos that have gone viral also showed Sinas and his troops taking alcoholic drinks. It is not, however, clear if this was taken in the same event. Liquor ban has been imposed in Metro Manila.
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said it is a tragedy of how “selective mercy and hypocritical compassion” is only for the rich and powerful.
“As one observer said, dura lex, spandex, for them,” said NUPL president Edre Olalia.
Maj. Sinas on the arrest of 10 community kitchen volunteers: “The idea is, we are under ECQ. Even if you say you are following strict social distancing, organizing gatherings is prohibited.”
PNP Chief Gamboa on Maj. Sinas’ May 8 bday salo-salo: “I don’t think may violation ito.” pic.twitter.com/OSRZT07QRy
— Micko (@akosiicko) May 12, 2020
Welcome to the Philippines, where the law is law but you are exempted if you are POGO or a ka-DDS, the mass testings don’t matter, and Duterte doesn’t know where the money went but he will pay you if you find NPAs.
— T. Wombat (@tricolordwombat) May 13, 2020
If this isn’t a birthday party then why there are too many clowns?? Law is law n’yo mama n’yo. pic.twitter.com/vC0p1i81wL
— Ping Guerrero? (@gabrant001) May 13, 2020
Law is law is only applicable for the poor and the marginalized ? our justice system cannot even lay a finger to the rich and and powerful. they can blatantly lie and get away with ease ????? pic.twitter.com/eWyOat9kwp
— Rigz ? (@iamrigzp) May 13, 2020
Not wearing mask.
They forgot to hide all alcoholic drinks.
No social distancing.
DDS are quiet.
Government is quiet.
Yeah, LAW is LAW, but not for all. – thats the reality. pic.twitter.com/GK3Dw06Nxb
— ?VOLLEYMASTER (@MeterVolley) May 13, 2020
HAPPY BDAY, Maj. Gen. Sinas!
TNX for pushing thru w/ the party during a pandemic; for NOT manning ECQ Checkpoints; for posting pics of your food-filled party during a time when the poor have got no food on the table; & for breaking the rules—w/c you’re supposed to be enforcing. https://t.co/bh7OqwgrM7
— Francis Baraan IV (@MrFrankBaraan) May 13, 2020
Sleuths and really observant people found evidence of a box of beer at General Sinas’ birthday party in at least one of the photos
? Mass gathering
? Physical distancing
? Wearing masks
? Liquor ban
‘Twas a happy birthday party indeed for General Sinas pic.twitter.com/Dg1jYv57Az
— Tonyo Cruz (@tonyocruz) May 13, 2020
Taray ng pa-bday party ni NCRPO Chief Sinas! Kabog!
Oh mars, pede naman na ata tayong mag-rally, sila nga oh may mass gathering! Hahahahaha hulihin na tong mga to.
See pics here: https://t.co/qgBTpAhnOh pic.twitter.com/oJpvrq8oZe
— happy dave (@happydaveruz) May 12, 2020
Nasaan ang masks, gloves, at social distancing sa larawang ito? A ‘mañanita’ (kasi hindi daw ito birthday party) is also an early morning birthday serenade. Beer for breakfast anyone? Let me hear the apologists say ‘dura lex, sed lex’ with feelings. pic.twitter.com/M2NQSU0ilk
— ???? — (@mrc199x) May 13, 2020
Sino ba magbi-birthday dyan?
Magpa-mañanita na! Puede naman pala ??
— Agot Isidro (@agot_isidro) May 13, 2020
The Philippine National Police said it will look into the said “mañanita.”