MANILA — Joint Task Force (JTF) Corona Virus Shield official on Sunday said they will not hesitate to arrest unscrupulous businessmen and individuals planning to take advantage of the crisis by hoarding disinfectants, masks and other medical items and reselling them at exorbitant prices.
In a phone interview on Saturday, JTF Corona Virus Shield JTF CV Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said such actions are illegal and a violation of existing laws and are in conflict with the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine.
The JTF CV Shield is the implementing arm of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Covid-19. It is composed of ranking officials from the PNP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fire Protection.
“There have been a lot of complaints of supply shortage of alcohol and face masks because some people hoard them and sell them by at least double of the original price. This practice must stop,” he added.
During this time, Eleazar said Filipinos must be helping each other rather than taking advantage of one another.
“These people who take advantage of (the coronavirus disease) Covid-19 fear must be taught a lesson,” he added.
Earlier, PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa said all police units are alerted against hoarding complaints and appealed to the public to immediately report such incidents to authorities.
“We need your cooperation onto this campaign and the PNP remains alert and vigilant to ensure public order and safety,” he said.
Eleazar, who used to head the Anti-Cybercrime Group, said that based on their monitoring, some of the transactions happen online where some businessmen advertise the availability of the products they hoarded using social media accounts.
“We have further intensified the online monitoring and we assure the public that we will run after these people,” he added.
Eleazar said netizens could report hoarders and opportunist resellers to the police through the social media accounts of the PNP.
He said the task force has already set up hotlines and even email account where the public could report their complaints on enhanced community quarantine-related concerns.
For Globe subscribers, the hotline is 0917-538-2495 while Smart subscribers could send their concerns to 0998-849-0013.
The JTF also has a landline hotline—0287253176. The email address, on the other hand, is firstname.lastname@example.org. (PNA)