–with VICTOR REYES
A PHYSICIAN was arrested on Tuesday in Quezon City by NBI operatives for selling overpriced thermal scanners.
The apprehension of Dr. Cedric John Sarmiento de Castro came as the NBI intensified its efforts to arrest hoarders and individuals and establishments selling overpriced medical items amid the increasing number of coronavirus infections in the country.
Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said the De Castro was arrested in New Manila, Quezon City by agents of the NBI-Special Action Unit for selling 150 scanners at P9,500 each, or a total of P1.2 million. A scanner costs from P800 to P1,500.
Perete said the thermal scanners were supposed to have been donated to De Castro in his capacity as president of the Lions Chapter in New Manila.
He also said De Castro will be charged before the Quezon City prosecutors office for hoarding and profiteering charges.
In Cavite also on Tuesday, operatives of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group arrested 17 people, including a Malaysian, for selling to poseur-buyers overpriced face masks, alcohol, disinfectants and sanitizers.
The arrested Malaysian was identified as Lai Geou Tee, who was nabbed at Waltermart Mall in Barangay Maduya in Carmona, Cavite on Tuesday night for selling N88 face masks at overpriced rate of P1,500 per box.
Also arrested were his seven cohorts: Filipino-Chinese Hasan Meahar Asana, Ma Anelia delos Reyes, Micah Salvador, Vanessa Zolayvar, Dennis Realon, and Bienvenido Alvader.
Seized from them were P1.3 million worth of face masks. The CIDG did not say how many boxes or face masks were recovered from the group.
In Iloilo City, Princess Angel Jamolo, Condrado Sorongon Jr, Jennifer Frayco, Gracel Mae Castro, Erlyn Veras and Ernalyn Veras were arrested also on Tuesday nigh in Barangay Tanza Bonifacio for selling 229 bottles of alcohol , also overpriced.
In Minglanilla, Cebu, suspects Queeny May Rosa delos Reyes and Jan Jan Alano were also arrested by CIDG men on Tuesday afternoon for selling 171 bottles of overpriced alcohol and sanitizers.
In Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Rochele del Rosario was apprehended after she sold 113 overpriced bottles of water-based disinfectants and 13 bottles of sanitizers in Barangay 8 San Agustin on Tuesday afternoon.
In Legazpi City in Albay, Roberto Erquiaga Jr was arrested on Tuesday night after selling 30 bottles of overpriced alcohol, at Teacher’s Village in Barangay 16, Kawit East, Washington Drive.
The 17 suspects are facing charges of violation of the Price Act and Consumer Act of the Philippines.