Bacolod exec seeks probe of fixer for COVID-19 jabs for fee
BACOLOD CITY – A finance executive is calling on authorities to investigate the alleged presence of a “runner,” who charges a fee to facilitate COVID-19 vaccinations at the SMX Convention Center in this city.
Joey Ledesma said a friend of his went to the SMX Convention Center to have herself and her sister vaccinated.
“They were walk-ins. They were approached by a runner asking for P1,500 each, promising that he could get them vaccinated. My friend in desperation paid and they were vaccinated,” he said in a Facebook post.
Ledesma, who withheld the names of the two, said they did not want to file any complaints since it is difficult to prove.
He instead asked authorities to look into these practices and punish the guilty.
Ledesma said he recommended that a poster be placed at vaccination centers to warn fixers and inform everyone that the vaccines are free.
City Administrator Em Ang, also the Emergency Operations Center executive director, said she had requested Ledesma to name the alleged “runner,” or at least give them the name of his friend, who supposedly paid to get vaccinated, so they could investigate the matter at once.
“This is a very serious accusation. We will not tolerate this. We need to get to the bottom of this issue and make sure that any guilty party must be punished accordingly,” she said.
“If the accuser/informant cannot come out and state facts, it will affect everyone in our vaccination team, who honestly and earnestly do their jobs every single day. If these allegations turn out to be untrue, they can be taken as truth by some readers, putting the whole team in a bad light,” she added.
She said Ledesma’s Facebook post has been stirring up nasty, malicious comments against the vaccination team and the city officials.
Ang said she hoped Ledesma would bring the alleged wrongdoing out in the open, and “we will just stick with the facts and that will bring us to the truth.”
“Otherwise, this will all just come down to mere kotso-kotso (gossip),” she said.
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