PNP chief orders probe on vaccination ‘schedule fixers’
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to investigate the illegal operations of “fixers” who ask for payment from those wanting to get their COVID-19 shots ahead of their set schedules.
“I am directing the CIDG to investigate this scheme of vaccination schedule fixers in the different local government units (LGUs). Maaaring hindi lang sa Pasig nangyayari ang ganitong modus at dapat ay matuldukan agad ito (This may not be happening in Pasig only and this needs to end),” Eleazar said in a statement Tuesday.
Eleazar issued the directive after Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, on a Facebook live video, said two fixers were caught asking fees to move up vaccination schedules of residents who are looking for earlier slots.
The mayor said formal complaints will be filed against the fixers.
“Hindi naman tayo papayag ng ganoon, ‘di ba. Nakapila ng maayos ang tao, ang tagal naghintay ng schedule tapos magpapasingit kayo ng ganun-ganun lang tapos pagkakakitaan niyo pa? Hindi pwede ‘yun. May dalawa na tayo nahuli pero alam ko meron pa,” Sotto said in the video.
(We will not allow this. People line up properly, they wait long for their schedules then you will just allow others to cut and profit from this? That is not allowed. We already apprehended two of them but I know there are more.)
Eleazar said that the PNP will coordinate with local government units (LGUs) to prevent the spread of the said illegal operations.
“Sa kabila ng pandemya, talagang hindi mawawala ang mga taong mapagsamantala at pagkakakitaan ang kagustuhan ng mga tao na agad na mabakunahan. Mga walang kaluluwa ang mga taong gumagawa ng ganito na alam namang libre at talagang kailangang-kailangan ng ating mga kababayan ang bakuna kontra COVID-19 ay nagagawa pa pagkaperahan,” the chief said.
(Despite the pandemic, there will still be people who will take advantage and gain profit from those who need vaccines. People who do this do not have souls. They already know that the COVID-19 vaccine is free and needed by the people, but they were able to profit from it.)
“Tubuan naman sana ng konsensya ang mga fixers na ito at maawa sa ating mga kababayan. Marami ang nagnanais magpabakuna pero nararapat pa din sundin natin ang priority list sa pagpapabakuna. May dahilan po kung bakit sila priority sa listahan,” he added.
(I wish these fixers would grow a conscience and pity the people. There are a lot who want the vaccines but we should follow the priority vaccination list. There is a reason why they are prioritized.)
The PNP chief also appealed to the public to avoid falling for such schemes and urged them to patiently wait for their scheduled vaccination.
“Huwag po tayong kumagat at magpaloko sa ganitong modus. Uulitin ko na libre ang buong proseso ng pagpapabakuna, kailangan lang po natin hintayin ang ating schedule o ‘di kaya ay pumila sa mga vaccination centers ng mga LGU na bukas sa mga walk-in. Tandaan natin na walang manloloko kung walang magpapaloko,” Eleazar said.
(Let us not fall for these schemes. I repeat that vaccination and the process is free, we just need to wait for our schedule or line up in vaccination centers of LGU who accept walk-ins. Let us remember that no one will be deceived if we do not let them deceive us.)
Eleazar further urged the public to immediately report to authorities or through different E-Sumbong platforms any information they might have on vaccination schedule fixers. Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, Inquirer trainee
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