Sinas: Seized overpriced face masks, medical items are evidence, can’t be used
MANILA, Philippines — Overpriced face masks and thermal scanners seized in police raids cannot be released for use as these are inventoried pieces of evidence needed in the filing of court cases against suspects, the director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Friday.
“Hindi pwede kasi yun ay ebidensya. Nasa inventory po iyon. Once we file the case hahanapin po ng court ‘yun kapag hindi namin prinresent yun, kami po ang magkakakaso,” Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas said during a press conference when asked if the seized overpriced medical equipment such as face masks can be donated to the Philippine health department.
(That is illegal because those are evidence. These supplies are at our inventory. Once we file a case against the suspects, the court will ask us for evidence and if we can’t present them, we will be sanctioned.)
Sinas it will be up to the courts to say when can the confiscated face masks and other medical equipment seized in police operations can be donated to hospitals that are in need.
“We will just wait for kung ano masasabi ng court (what the court will say),” Sinas said.
Sinas added that if the courts will allow them to use the medical supplies, they will donate the supplies to the Department of Health so that it can be distributed to hospitals.
On Wednesday, members of Manila Police District conducted an entrapment operation and arrested two alleged profiteers in Binondo, Manila. The suspects were allegedly selling overpriced face masks, gloves, personal protective equipment, and infrared thermometers.
Police said those found selling overpriced medical supplies will face charges for violation of the Price Act and Consumer Act of the Philippines.
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