NBI nabs 2 for fake swab test service

Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - April 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) apprehended two personnel of a fake home swab testing service during an entrapment operation in Quezon City on Monday.

Bernadette Lagat and Paulo Onate were arrested by members of the NBI Special Action Unit (SAU) who posed as clients.

NBI SAU chief Emeterio Dongallo Jr. said the testing center, Swab Test Pilipinas, was not licensed by the Department of Health.

The laboratory where Swab Test Pilipinas allegedly sent samples for processing denied knowing the center, according to Dongallo.

He said the suspects did not dispose of medical waste properly and were not trained to obtain swab samples.

Dongallo said the clients were duped to avail themselves of swab test service because it was cheaper at P3,500 compared to the prevailing price of P3,800 to P5,000 set by the government.

The suspects also gave their clients fake negative results, a modus which could worsen the pandemic, Dongallo added.

Charges of estafa and falsification of public documents will be filed against the suspects, the NBI said.

COVID clinic raided

Meanwhile, police raided a clinic in Las Piñas that allegedly released fake swab test results on Tuesday.

Three employees of the clinic were arrested during the operation. They were Frederick Sena Jude, 46; cashier Janice Ariada Dasco, 35, and Gabriela Reyes Dimaano, 21.

Police said the Janric Medical Clinic at the corner of Real Street and Alabang-Zapote Road in Barangay Talon 1 allegedly falsified COVID-19 test results.

Clients paid P1,500 for a fake negative swab test result, police said. – Ghio Ong

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