Rosebud nabbed for selling vaccine slots

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
Rosebud nabbed for selling vaccine slots
Mug shot of Mary Ong provided by the NBI
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) apprehended a former government witness and three others for allegedly selling vaccination slots to Chinese citizens in Pasay City on Friday.

Mary Ong, alias Rosebud, was arrested along with her brother Peter Ong, Warlito Mabanan and Ferdinand Balagot during a sting launched by the NBI.

According to the NBI Special Action Unit, a Filipino and a Chinese informed the bureau about a vaccine slot for sale scheme in Pasay.

The suspects were nabbed in an entrapment operation at a vaccination site along Bonanza Drive.

The NBI said the suspects allegedly asked the complainants to pay a total of P63,000 or P7,000 for each AstraZeneca jab.

Among those who were supposed to get inoculated were Chinese because they are not part of the priority group under the government’s vaccine rollout, the NBI said.

Probers said Rosebud and her brother alighted from a vehicle at the meeting place to pick up the Chinese and allegedly received the marked money.

The NBI said it would look into how the suspects got access to the vaccine slots.

The suspects are being held on charges of estafa and violation of the Anti-Red Tape Act. Balagot, a barangay secretary in Pasay, will face a separate complaint for graft.

Rosebud, then a police agent, had implicated former national police chief and now Sen. Panfilo Lacson in the alleged summary execution of 11 Kuratong Baleleng members in 1995 and the killing of three Chinese drug traffickers in 1999.

She was dropped from the government’s Witness Protection Program in 2011.



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