Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Debold Sinas was a no-show in a Senate hearing on the spate of killings in the country on Thursday.
His absence didn’t sit well with Senators Richard Gordon and Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, a former PNP chief.
The secretariat of the Senate committee on justice and human rights said an invitation was sent to Sinas’ office but “there was no reply.”
It was found out that the PNP was represented in the hearing by Police Major General Marni Marcos Jr., director of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management.
“I’m representing Gen. Sinas because he’s attending other activities, your honor,” Marcos said per a report GMA News Online.
The reason for Sinas’ absence irked Gordon. “You know, the Senate is the forum of the people. When we invite that should be taken seriously… and when you say very cavalierly that he’s attending other meetings as if the Senate is not important, the investigation is not important, hindi ako nagpapaimportante dito,” he said.
Marcos confirmed that the invitation was received by Sinas and he was instructed to appear before the Senate to represent the PNP.
“You’re already there. I’m just talking about Gen. Sinas. If you’re representing him, you’re not making a good representation because you just made a representation to make it appear that he’s too busy for the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines,” Gordon said.
Gordon opted not to delve on grilling Marcos, saying that there will issues that the official may not be familiar with.
“When you start saying ‘I cannot answer the question because I have no knowledge,’ then we’re all in trouble,” he added.
Dela Rosa also did not hide his frustration over Sinas’ absence and questioned why Sinas did not send at least a deputy three-star general.
“Siguro itong si Gen. Marcos, you’ve been witness, when I was the chief PNP, ‘di talaga ako nag-aabsent ng Senate hearing ‘di ba? Pag ako’y pinatawag ng Senate hearing dala-dala ko pa ang buong command group ko at saka aking directorial staff,” he said.
More than an hour after the inquiry started, Sinas and his command group appeared before the joint committees of justice, peace and order, and finance via teleconference.
The PNP apologized for not being able to appear in the actual hearing. (CC)