MANILA – A party-list lawmaker on Thursday asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to concentrate its efforts in investigating those involved in profiteering, overpricing and hoarding amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin said authorities should go after scammers and hoarders of medical supplies and food, as well as price control violators.
“We are calling for the National Bureau of Investigation to concentrate its efforts in apprehending those who are guilty of profiteering from the Covid-19 Pandemic… The NBI and the Police should also arrest those who have violated and are violating the price control currently being imposed by the government,” Garbin said.
Garbin urged the NBI to also focus on apprehending those who are violating the enhanced quarantine measures of the government.
“We need to remind them that time is of the essence. Every second wasted is another life wasted. We will not allow any lives to be wasted anymore. They are not merely statistics in this crisis. They are Filipino citizens that ought to be protected. Priorities should be set straight,” he added.
Garbin made the remark after the NBI summoned Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto to respond to accusations of a possible violation of the Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
The issue was regarding Sotto’s earlier decision to allow tricycles in the city to ferry health workers and those needing medical assistance during the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
Garbin said Sotto cannot be prosecuted for violating the law because the alleged offenses were committed prior to its effectivity.
“Our Constitution expressly prohibits ex post facto laws. This is clear in Section 22 of Article 3 of the Constitution. In other words, ex post facto laws are criminal laws that have a retroactive effect or laws that impose penalties for acts or events that happened before a law was enacted to penalize such acts,” he said. (PNA)