Sotto on crooks who sell overpriced face masks: Hang them on trees
MANILA, Philippines — Unscrupulous people taking advantage of Taal’s eruption selling overpriced face masks should be hung on trees, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Tuesday.
“Isabit natin sa mga puno. Aba’y sinasamantala pa nila ‘yung mga (nangangailangan),” Sotto told reporters in a phone patch interview.
(Let’s hang them on trees. They’re taking advantage of those in need).
“Yung mga traders na biglang binili lahat yung mga gas masks tapos binebenta ng mataas o ‘yung mga biglang tinaas ang presyo dapat bitayin sa mga puno. Sa Acacia o Narra.”
(Those traders who suddenly hoarded all the gas masks and then selling them for a much higher price or those who suddenly jacked up the prices should be hung on trees. On the Acacia or Narra).
“Narra para matibay; isabit sila dun. Tapos pausukan ng pausukan na walang gas mask,” he added.
(Narra so it would be sturdy; hang them there. Then blow smoke on them while they’re without gas mask.)
Sotto was apparently reacting to complaints that prices of N95 masks soared up to P200 apiece from P25 to P30 apiece after heavy ash fell on Batangas areas and surrounding provinces and regions, including Metro Manila, after Taal Volcano’s phreatic eruption on January 12. Health experts have advised the wearing of face masks, especially N95, as a precautionary measure to protect themselves from the dangers of volcanic ashfall.
Sotto, on the other hand, hailed those who are giving away face masks for free.
“Meron ngang mga namimigay e, ‘yun ang mga dapat sabitan ng medalya,” he added.
(There are people who are giving face masks for free, they should be given medals).
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he wants to impose a price cap on face masks, even warning hoarders amid the Taal Volcano’s continuous heightened activity.
The Department of Trade and Industry also previously warned businesses and individuals taking advantage of the disaster that charges await them for illegally increasing the price of face masks.