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27 people selling overpriced medical goods, rice arrested

Authorities have already arrested 27 suspects for allegedly selling overpriced alcohol, rice, and thermal scanners.

Based on the record of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Davao, the period covered March 14, during the start of the community quarantine, until May 4. They launched 13 operations, which resulted in the arrest of the suspects,

Maj. Milgrace Driz, the head of CIDG-Davao, said 11 of the operations were for overpriced disinfectants and thermal scanners. One operation was for illegal selling of butane gas, which is a violation of PD 1865 or selling of petroleum products without authority from regulatory agencies. Another one was arrested for violation of PD 1602 or illegal gambling.

Meanwhile, law enforcers arrested two individuals for selling overpriced rice in two separate operations in Sta. Ana Avenue and Monteverde corner Gempesaw streets.

Driz said they arrested a rice trader in an operation conducted at Sta. Ana Ave by a composite team of the Sta. Ana Police Station, Special Operations Group of Davao City Police Office, the City Mayor’s Office, regional offices of the Departments of Agriculture and Trade and Industry.

Seized from the suspect were 10 sacks of imported rice at 50 kilograms each sold at P2,120.00 per sack, higher than the prevailing price of P2,075 and a sheet of delivery receipt.

Another trader was arrested in another operation and seized from the suspect were six sacks of imported rice at 50 kilograms a sack sold at P2,250 and four sacks of another variety of imported rice sold at P2,200 (from the prevailing price of P2,075).

Driz said the team conducted the operations in relation to Republic Act 11469, the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, a law created as part of the interventions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

She said the operations were the result of the information that her agency received in relation to overpriced basic commodities.

“As a mandate to us to implement the law and in the performance of our duty, it is our way of helping the people and the government to oversee and carry on the price ceiling and the price freeze set for the business sectors to follow,” she added.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col Ronald L. Lao, commander both of the Regional Special Operation Group (RSOG) XI and the Talomo Station, identified those who were arrested for selling thermal scanners were Ernesto Tomagos, 37, businessman, a native of San Manuel Tarlac, and a renter at Manlangit Compound Purok 26-A, Riverside Maa; Vicente Daigan Jr., male, 29, businessman, and resident of Aglayan Malaybalay Bukidnon; and Wendell H. Ognit, male, 31, and a resident. of Sitio San Isidro Concepcion, Montevista, Davao de Oro.

The three were arrested while allegedly selling eight thermal scanners at P9,500 each, or nearly thrice the suggested retail price of P3,400.

Lao also warned unscrupulous traders and vendors not to take advantage of the COVID-19 situation.

“Let us not add misery to our fellow Filipinos. The full force of the law will go after you if you will exploit the current situation so please abide by the directives of the national government,” he added.

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