The Manila Police District (MPD) is investigating 25 Chinese nationals who allegedly presented medical certificates in various vaccination sites in Manila on Sunday to be able to get coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines.
MPD chief Brig. Gen Leo Francisco said on Monday that some of the Chinese were tourists who don’t speak Filipino or English and were not from Manila.
The MPD first released a spot report Sunday night that six Chinese were caught in Tondo trying to get vaccinated using dubious medical certificates.
“If you will look at it, we questioned 19 Chinese in Station 5, six in Station, plus three Filipinos, 25 Chinese nationals in total,” he said in Filipino.
However, Francisco said they are still evaluating if the medical certificates presented were authentic or not.
He said the Chinese nationals registered via Manila’s www.manilacovid19vaccine.ph and got QR (quick response) codes.
A3 individuals (18 to 59 years old with comorbidities) were vaccinated in Manila on Sunday.
They need to present either one of medical certificates (dated within 18 months), prescription of maintenance medicines (for six months), hospital records such as discharge summary or medical abstract, or surgical and pathology records.
Francisco said the Manila Health Department (MHD) asked for police assistance.
“The MHD were wondering because there was only one signatory in their medical certificates. The problem is, the name of the doctor was not indicated, only the PRC number, so we need to go to the PRC to verify whose number is on the medical certificates,” Francisco said in Filipino, referring to the Professional Regulation Commission.
As the Chinese nationals were questioned on a Sunday and offices were closed, Francisco said they had to release them as the prescribed period to hold them already lapsed.
On Monday, the police sent letters to the Chinese Embassy and to the Bureau of Immigration to ask for more information about the apprehended Chinese nationals.
A letter was also sent to the PRC to get details on the signatory of the medical certificates.
As of Monday afternoon, Francisco said that they were still waiting for replies from the aforementioned offices.
Francisco said he will ask for the initiation of deportation proceedings if the Chinese will be proven guilty.
In the case of the three Filipinos, Francisco said that they are from Quezon City and are working as household helpers. Two were aged 19.
They said their employers registered them. SOVEREIGNPH