–By ASHZEL HACHERO and VICTOR REYES
EIGHT persons were arrested in Manila on Tuesday and Saturday for selling overpriced medical items such as thermal scanners, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.
In Cavite and Quezon City, operatives of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group arrested seven persons on Monday for selling overpriced alcohol, thermal guns, and gloves.
DOJ Undersecretary Markk Perete said the arrests followed raids conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Trade and Industry on Saturday on Icon Medics Trading and Jasrich Medical Supplies & Medical Equipment, both along Bambang District, Rizal Avenue, in Sta.Cruz, Manila. He failed to divulge the names of the four persons arrested in these operations. The four others were arrested in an operation conducted on Tuesday.
“The subjects sold NBI operatives 60 pieces of thermal scanners at P5, 000 each or a total of P300, 000. The suggested retail price for thermal scanners range from P800 to P1,500,” Perete said in a text message.
Perete said the four arrested on Saturday underwent inquest proceedings on Monday afternoon before the Manila Prosecutors Office for violation of RA 7581 or the Price Act and RA 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines while those arrested Tuesday will face the same charges today, Wednesday.
Earlier, NBI OIC Eric Distor said the agency has created a task force to go after hoarders and establishments selling overpriced medical supplies such as face masks, thermal scanners, sanitizers and alcohol. Distor said the task force would also go after online sellers.
In the PNP-CIDG operation, one of the suspects, Red Elefan, was nabbed at around 3 p.m. Monday along Aguinaldo highway in Barangay Panapaan 5 in Bacoor City in Cavite while selling 50 gallons of ethyl alcohol at P750 per gallon.
Follow-up operation resulted in the arrest of Annalyn Ramirez at around 5 p.m in Tierra Nevada in Barangay San Francisco, General Trias City, also in Cavite. Ramirez supplied the alcohol to Elefan.
Seized from Ramirez’ possession were 200 gallons of ethyl alcohol which she was selling for P650 per gallon.
The five other suspects were arrested along Boni Serrano avenue in Quezon City at around 9:30 p.m. They were Karen Perfecto, Anthony Obuyes, Allan Iglesia, Domingo Belchez and Ronald Condrillon.
They were caught selling 25 cartons containing 10 boxes each with 50 pairs of surgical gloves, two cartons with 50 thermal guns each.
The suspects were reportedly selling thermal guns at P6,100 and gloves at P310.