5 arrested for selling overpriced alcohol, face masks

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

AUTHORITIES arrested on Sunday, March 22, five more persons for hoarding and selling overpriced alcohol and face masks amid the increasing number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the country.

Police said separate operations were conducted in Bulacan, Manila and Quezon City.

In Tondo in Manila, CIDG Anti-Transnational Crime Unit operatives arrested Willy Santos Sy in an entrapment operation on the afternoon of March 22.

The operation stemmed from the information and complaints received by the CIDG of alleged hoarding and selling of overpriced face masks.

The CIDG conducted validation through Facebook and was able to confirm that the suspect was selling a box of 50 face masks for P1,600, or P32 per piece.

This exceeds the suggested retail price (SRP) of P28 per piece.

Seized during the operation were 1,200 boxes of face masks that would have fetched P1.92 million for the suspect.

Meanwhile, Bulacan Acting Provincial Director Lawrence Cajipe said the CIDG Bulacan arrested during an entrapment operation on March 22 three persons identified as Marvin Verdillo, 27, Jose Rafael de Guzman, 36, and John Patrick Enriquez, 32.

Undercover police ordered 73 liters of isopropyl alcohol from Verdillo for P220 per liter, which is beyond the SRP of P125 to P130.

Seized from the suspects were over P16,000 worth of alcohol during the raid in Barangay Kaingin, San Rafael, Bulacan.

In Barangay Doña Josefa, Quezon City, CIDG operatives arrested Huanshing Chan, 59, after he sold to a poseur buyer overpriced and unlabeled bottles of alcohol worth P61,250.

The suspect was allegedly selling a liter of alcohol for P175. Seized from him were 350 unlabeled one-liter bottles of alcohol.

The suspects will be charged with violation of RA 7581 as amended by RA 10623 (Price Act) and RA 7394 (Consumer Act of the Philippines).

PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said the seized items will remain under the custody of the police.

“This evidence will be presented muna sa court, until the court rules its final disposition,” he said.

A day earlier, police also arrested 33 people for profiteering, overpricing and hoarding medical supplies.

Nearly P13 million worth of alcohol, hand sanitizers and surgical face masks were confiscated. (SunStar Philippines)