Manila cracks down on fake medicine

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
Manila cracks down on fake medicine
Photo from Pixabay shows various kinds of medicines.

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has ordered a crackdown on makers and sellers of fake medicine amid a new surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Moreno, who is running for president in the 2022 elections, issued the order to Manila Police District chief Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco during a command conference on Friday after the MPD’s Special Mayor’s Reaction Team arrested online seller Monique Gamboa in a sting earlier this week.

Gamboa was caught with 18,000 tablets of counterfeit Bioflu and Neozep valued at P1.1 million.

Moreno, calling the makers and sellers of fake medicine “tolongges (fools)” and “talipandas (corrupt),” said they were duping residents who are in dire need of medicine such as paracetamol, for which there was a high demand when people experienced flu symptoms after the holidays.

He appealed to the public to be more cautious when buying flu medicine and vitamins online, saying they should purchase medicine from reputable companies.

He commended the MPD for Gamboa’s arrest, saying their vigilance saved thousands from being inconvenienced.

“Instead of getting better, they could die” from the counterfeit medicine, Moreno said.

P.9-M COVID test kits seized

Meanwhile, around 240 boxes of unauthorized COVID-19 test kits valued at P960,000  were confiscated from four Chinese nationals in San Miguel, Manila on Friday night.

Cai Hongyu, 52; Wen Ze Zhou, 27; Anna Chua, 24; and Bryant Ong, 42, were arrested in an entrapment operation at a building on Gen. Solano street in Barangay 646 at around 6 p.m.

They allegedly transacted with agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) posing as buyers.

Col. Randy Glenn Silvio, CIDG National Capital Region field office chief, said the suspects belong to a criminal group based in Sta. Cruz, Manila involved in the illegal online sale of unregistered Clungene test kits.

They have been under surveillance after the CIDG received reports of their activities.

The suspects also yielded a cell phone they allegedly used in their transactions.

The four are facing charges for violating Republic act 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act. – Emmanuel Tupas


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