The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) is investigating the reported continued operation of some underground hospitals catering exclusively to Chinese patients with COVID-19.
According to PNP-CIDG deputy director for administration Police Brig. Gen. Rhoderick Armamento, they received reports about existing illegal COVID treatment facilities in Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and Calabarzon or Region 4-A.
Gen. Armamento said: “We are validating the reports that we have received and our intelligence build-up operations are on-going. We have reports not only in Region 3 but also in Metro Manila and Region 4-A.”
Previously, local consumer organization Alliance for Consumer and Protection of Environment (ACAPE) Inc. pressured the police to look into the alleged underground treatment facilities. ACAPE claimed that the government allegedly gave special treatment by allowing the continued operation of the hospitals.
Armamento acknowledged the issue raised by the consumer group and said that they have found a makeshift hospital in Pampanga last May 19 which was used to treat Chinese nationals with respiratory problems.
The underground facility was discovered at the Fontana Leisure Park inside the Clark Freeport Zone which was converted to a treatment facility. The raiding team also found used syringes and other medical wastes that were improperly disposed
The hospital was owned by husband and wife Hu Ling and Lee Seung-Hyun was the alleged pharmacist. They had no proper documents to operate the converted clinic.
The CIDG deputy director mentioned that the suspects are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act and RA 2382 or the Medical Act of 1995,
The police group also conducted a follow-up operation and uncovered another underground clinic and a warehouse where the medicines were being stored in Pampanga.
Gen. Armamento said: “This (matter) is very critical because these clinics are operating illegally. If we won’t find them, their patients might spread the virus since they are not being subjected to quarantine.”
“Pumupunta lang sila doon para magpacheck pero hindi sila nagku-quarantine (They only go to these clinics for a check up but they are not subjected to quarantine procedures),” he explained.