Authorities arrested two Chinese nationals who were selling health capsules claimed to be COVID-19 cure in Bacoor City, Cavite, Friday.
Police caught Zhixing Chen and Lingjie “Kira” Zhao for selling the Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang in violation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Act of 2009.
On May 6, the FDA issued a public advisory against the sale and use of Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang. FDA said the drug “has not gone through the registration and testing process of the FDA and has not been issued with proper authorization in the form of Certificate of Product Registration.”
“Thus, the Agency cannot guarantee their quality and safety. The consumption of such violative product may pose potential danger or injury if administered,” the advisory read.
Authorities meanwhile are still looking for another suspect named Achinglee Payoran Xu.
Police seized 10,800 boxes, each one with 24 capsules, of Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang during the raid conducted at 9 am.
According to city police chief Lt. Col Vicente Cabatingan, a tip from an informant led them to the warehouse inside the Prime Pacific United for Consortium, Inc. in Barangay Niog 2.
The said health facility had a seven-bed capacity and an illegal pharmacy. The “administrator” and “pharmacist” were arrested for creating fake treatment, but they refused to give a statement.
Police believed that this warehouse in Cavite was the “source” of Chinese medicines being sold in local drugstores and online markets.
In April, local authorities also seized unregistered COVID-19 medicines and two more clinics in Barangay Baclaran, Parañaque City.
During the interrogation, the suspect also admitted to Mayor Edwin Olivarez that he still has a medicine stockroom, in a separate apartment, just a few meters away from the raided clinic in Barangay Baclaran.
The mayor and city health office officials found that a large number of medicines were stored, including those for sexually transmitted diseases, herbal supplements, and non-prescription drugs against flu and respiratory illness.
On March 24, the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested a father and son for selling fake COVID-19 cure online.