NINE persons were arrested over the illegal sale of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) test kits in Quezon City, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
Those arrested are Marize Santiago, 28; Joshua Raphael Bautista Ramirez, 21; Zeus Catamora Jimena, 27; John Vincent Almante Sumalabe, 23; Rio Joyce Mingay Perando, 20; Hermogenes Rivero Villordon, 28; Jomari Pareja Estrada, 21; John Marthy de Jesus Parentela, 22; and John Paolo Solibaga San Pedro, 28.
They will be charged with violation of Republic Act 9711 or Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009 in relation to FDA Circular No. 2020-016 or the prohibition of online selling of FDA certified Covid-19 antibody test kits.
PNP chief Debold Sinas said they were arrested during an entrapment operation in Barangay South Triangle by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
Seized during the operation were 600 sets of Clungene rapid test kit, amounting to P204,000.
“Investigation disclosed that the operation stemmed from reports about unauthorized distribution and selling of unproven illegally marketed medical devices such as Joinstar, Clungene rapid test kit, Innovita antibody test, Sanli disposable virus specimen and Wondfo rapid test kit which were likewise placed for advertisement thru online selling website being managed by unauthorized online seller of Covid-19 rapid test kit,” Sinas said in a statement.
Sinas said the arrested persons failed to show their license to operate (LTOP) or special permit to sell and distribute the test kits.
He said Santiago was found to be connected to an online Chinese group that sells unauthorized rapid test kits for Covid-19. (SunStar Philippines)