Investigate nurse nabbed for selling COVID-19 vaccines — Isko Moreno
MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has ordered a thorough investigation against a district hospital nurse arrested by authorities for selling COVID-19 vaccines.
According to Moreno, he has already directed Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center (GABMMC) chief Dr. Ted Martin to file appropriate charges against the nurse, who was identified as Alexis Francisco de Guzman.
De Guzman was the subject of an entrapment operation in Quezon City, which was conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), after reports came in that vaccines were being sold by hospital officers.
“Harapin niya ang kanyang kaso sa husgado [Face his case in court],” Moreno said during a meeting with Martin on Friday.
Martin also confirmed earlier that De Guzman was really a GABMMC nurse, stressing that they would not condone such actions of their staffers.
“While it is truly unfortunate that one of our own was involved in such illegal activities, this hospital and its management do not condone the acts of Mr. De Guzman. His actions have placed the name of this institution in a bad light and we are very willing to cooperate with any investigating authority regarding such matter,” Martin said.
“This hospital has always complied with the rules and regulations set forth by the City Government of Manila and the National Government, especially in the handling, administering and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines,” he added.
However, both Moreno and Martin clarified that the COVID-19 vaccines being sold illegally were not obtained from the Manila Health Department’s stockpile — with the GABMMC chief noting that the suspect has never been involved in the handling of the vials.
“Our vaccination team is composed of dedicated medical and administrative personnel who have always ensured that each dose is fully accounted for,” Martin stressed.
“We would like to respectfully inform the public that Mr. De Guzman has never been part of this team and has never been involved in the handling of vaccines. In addition, he has never transacted with this hospital’s Pharmacy Section regarding the transport or custody of vaccines,” he added.
The actions done by De Guzman, Martin further emphasized, have no place in the city.
On the other hand, the Manila Public Information Office (MPIO) and Moreno maintained that selling COVID-19 vaccines are not allowed in Manila — reminding people that City Ordinance No. 8740 was signed with the purpose of protecting the from individuals who will take advantage of the pandemic by unlawfully selling the vials.
“Vaccines that are allegedly being sold are not sourced from the supply of the Manila Health Department. These COVID-19 vaccines are highly regulated and highly controlled by the LGU. Hindi galing sa Manila LGU ang mga ibinebenta na bakuna [The vaccines being sold did not come from Manila LGU],” MPIO said.
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