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13 held for selling overpriced drug
The suspects were apprehended by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group during two stings in Ermita and España, CIDG National Capital Region (NCR) field office chief Col. Randy Glenn Silvio said.
STAR/ File

13 held for selling overpriced drug

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - April 25, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Thirteen persons were arrested after they were reportedly caught selling P1.2 million worth of the antibiotic tocilizumab, used to treat COVID-19 patients, at inflated prices in Manila on Friday afternoon.

The suspects were apprehended by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group during two stings in Ermita and España, CIDG National Capital Region (NCR) field office chief Col. Randy Glenn Silvio said.

The first sting occurred in front of Araullo High School along United Nations Avenue at around 4 p.m. while the second took place at the corner of Lacson and Dapitan streets at around 10 p.m.

The suspects are Roy dela Torre, 29; Luningning Abgair, 47; Anamarie Bastes, 42; Stephanie Ian Zabala, 35; Mary Angela David, 35; Jocelyn Petalio, 52; Joyce Regine Tadeo, 31; Rudson Arellano, 34; Anacleta Liwag, 48; Loreign Ruiz, 42; Stephanie Marie Empeynado, 28; Edwin Ilan, 34; and Reynante Galang, 34.

In a text message, Silvio said the suspects were placed under surveillance after a confidential informant tipped off law enforcers about “individuals who are taking advantage of consumers to earn huge profits during this pandemic.”

The suspects reportedly sold 400 milligrams of tocilizumab at P85,000 and 80 mg at P25,000 – way above the suggested retail prices of P28,830.84 and P8,811.11 set by the Department of Health, according to Silvio.

The suspects yielded 38 doses of the drug, valued at P1.2 million on the black market.

They were brought to the CIDG NCR office at Camp Crame in Quezon City for investigation and are being held on charges of violating Republic 7581 or the Price Act and RA 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act.

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