Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen Guillermo Eleazar of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has launched a manhunt operation against those behind the smuggling and illegal sale of COVID-19 vaccines.
According to Eleazar, the CIDG will liaise with all police units to identify those responsible for illegal sales and activities.
They allegedly endanger the life of every individual.
“Paalala lang natin sa publiko na mapanganib iturok ang mga smuggled na bakuna dahil lumalabas na peke ang mga ito. Imbes na makakuha tayo ng immunity mula sa sakit ay lalong maging dahilan ito ng ating kapahamakan,” added the PNP chief.
Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health have been notified of their operation against the sale of smuggled vaccines.
The use of the COVID-19 vaccine is strictly prohibited unless it is approved for emergency use by the FDA.
Last week, three people were arrested for allegedly selling Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines.
The National Bureau of Investigation Task Force Against Illegal Drugs arrested Kour Singh, Calvin Roca, and Alexis de Guzman, a registered nurse in Manila.
PNP launches manhunt vs. vaccine sellers, smugglers
Authorities seized 300 doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac in an icebox from the suspects.
Eleazar stressed that the vaccines obtained from the three arrested by the NBI recently were fake.
According to the NBI, the suspects usually sell the vaccines to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators workers.
Meanwhile, Malacañang congratulated the country after up to 12 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19 were injected into the people.
“Ito po ay mabuting balita – narating na natin ang 12th million mark of doses administered. Congratulations, Philippines!” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
The Palace once again encouraged citizens to get vaccinated, especially with another new variant of COVID-19, the Lambda variant first seen in Peru.
Malacañang is confident that the said variant will not penetrate the country due to the ongoing restrictions on borders.
But he still said that those who have been vaccinated should not be complacent and should follow health protocols.