PNP arrests 9 persons for illegal sale, distribution of COVID-19 test kits in QC

Robie de Guzman   •   April 14, 2021   •   291

 

MANILA, Philippines – Nine persons allegedly involved in the illegal sale of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test kits were arrested in an operation in Quezon City, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday.

Citing reports from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, PNP chief General Debold Sinas said the following suspects were apprehended during an entrapment operation conducted in Barangay South Triangle on Tuesday:

  • Marize Santiago, 28
  • Joshua Raphael Bautista Ramirez, 21
  • Zeus Catamora Jimena, 27
  • John Vincent Almante Sumalabe, 23
  • Rio Joyce Mingay Perando, 20
  • Hermogenes Rivero Villordon, 28
  • Jomari Pareja Estrada, 21
  • John Marthy De Jesus Parentela, 22
  • John Paolo Solibaga San Pedro, 28

The operation was launched by joint operatives of Quezon City District Field Unit (QCDFU) and 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing following verification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The PNP said the operation stemmed from reports about unauthorized distribution and selling of unproven and illegally marketed medical devices.

These devices include Joinstar, Clungene rapid test kit, Innovita antibody test, Sanli disposable virus specimen, and Wondfo rapid test kit, which were placed for advertisement thru an online selling website managed by an unauthorized online seller of COVID 19 Rapid test kit.

The PNP said the entrapment operation was conducted after the suspects received payment from a police undercover who ordered online 30 boxes of Clungene Rapid Test Kit amounting to P204,000

Recovered from the suspects were assorted volumes of unauthorized rapid test kits, with an estimated market value of P30 million.

During the operation, police said suspects failed to show their license to operate (LTOP) or special permit to sell and distribute the test kits as required under FDA Circular No. 2020-016.

One of the suspects, Marize Santiago, was found to be linked to a Chinese online selling group that offers unauthorized rapid test kits for COVID-19.

The arrested persons were brought to the QCDFU office for appropriate documentation for the filing of Cases for Republic Act 9711 or Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009 in relation to FDA Circular No. 2020-016 or the prohibition of Online selling of FDA Certified COVID-19 Antibody Test Kit.

“This operation is part of our continued efforts to run after those who take advantage of the pandemic to earn money by illegally marketing medical devices through illegal online selling by unauthorized online sellers of Covid-19 rapid test kit,” Sinas said.

PNP to support PCG, BFAR patrols in West Philippine Sea — Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP-MG) has been tapped to assist the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in their ongoing maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea, police chief General Guillermo Eleazar said.

“The PNP, specifically the Maritime Group, is ready to provide assistance and augment personnel from the PCG and BFAR in enforcing maritime laws on the West Philippine Sea and our Exclusive Economic Zone,” Eleazar said in a statement on Thursday.

“Despite our limitations when it comes to resources, we will make sure that it will not discourage and prevent us from asserting and fighting for what is ours,” he added.

The National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday said the PNP-MG will deploy four high-speed tactical watercraft, three police gunboats, and police fast boats to patrol the municipal waters and portions of the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea.

The assets will be deployed to police maritime units mostly in Palawan province.

Personnel of the PNP-MG who will be posted at the Municipality of Kalayaan will depart on May 15.

Eleazar said the PNP continues to consult with the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea, the PCG, and BFAR to determine the PNP-MG’s specific role and participation in maritime patrols.

“Patuloy po ang koordinasyon natin sa mga ahensyang ito dahil sila ang mas nakakaalam ng sitwasyon sa West Philippine Sea,” he said.

PNP eyeing 30K more body cams for police units nationwide

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is looking to acquire over 30,000 additional body-worn cameras to be used in anti-crime operations of police stations nationwide.

“We need additional 32,136 units to include all other support units,” PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement on Thursday.

He said the initial 2,696 units of body cameras they acquired have already been distributed to select police station units in key cities in the country and the additional body cameras would complete the PNP’s requirement of 34,832 units.

“But in the meantime that there is still no budget for this additional procurement, we will make use of what we have and hopefully, this would convince our lawmakers to fund additional body cameras for the PNP in the spirit of transparency and effective law enforcement,” he added.

Eleazar expressed confidence that the use of body cameras for police officers will finally happen under his leadership.

He said that he would initially want these body cams used by policemen in the service of court-issued search warrants to clear up allegations of irregularities in such operations.

He stressed that this will serve as protection for both parties – the police operatives and the persons who are subjects of the warrant.

“These body cameras will ensure transparency in police operations and, hopefully, put a stop to allegations that policemen are engaged in the planting of evidence or even the summary execution of suspects,” Eleazar said.

The PNP chief said he has been in touch with the Supreme Court regarding the use of body cameras in the service of search and arrest warrants and that a meeting was held last month between the police and the high court to discuss other matters as well.

At present, Eleazar said the police force is still awaiting the guidance and the protocols of the Supreme Court in using the body cameras so that privacy concerns and other legal repercussions would be avoided.

PNP-CIDG nabs 3 for unauthorized sale of COVID-19 rapid test kits in Parañaque

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has arrested sellers and distributors of unauthorized medical supplies.

Operatives of the CIDG nabbed three suspects for illegally selling COVID-19 rapid test kits on May 11 in Parañaque City. The suspects were identified as Ace Dimapilis, Charisse Purino, and Aldin Bacaran.

Acting on the information received, operatives immediately conducted verification at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where the latter issued certification stating that the abovementioned suspects are unauthorized by the law to sell online of COVID-19 Rapid test Kit.

An entrapment operation was conducted wherein a police poseur-buyer ordered online 250 boxes of WONDFO Rapid Test Kit amounting to P1.2 million.

After receiving the payment of marked money, the suspects were arrested. The suspects also failed to show to the operatives their License To Operate (LTO) or special permit to sell and distribute the test kits

Recovered during the operation were assorted volumes of unauthorized rapid test kits, with an estimated amount of P4 million, firearms and ammunitions. Based on reports, the suspects were sub-leaders of Chinese online groups that are involved in illegal online selling of unauthorized COVID-19 rapid test kits.

The arrested persons were brought to the Quezon City District Field Unit office for appropriate documentation and filing of cases for violation of Republic Act 9711 or Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009. AAC

 

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