The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in probing reports of online selling of vaccination slots for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines in the cities of Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Parañaque, among others.
MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos and Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos met with NBI Officer-in-Charge Director Eric Distor to discuss the matter.
“We are very thankful to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and NBI Director Distor for heeding our appeal to conduct a thorough investigation on ‘bakuna for sale.’ We already have a lead but we cannot divulge further details,” Abalos said.
The NBI Cybercrime Division will form a 50-man team to probe the incident. Likewise, the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group will also help in the investigation of the matter.
“We are doing this to show the public that we are serious about these things. They are taking advantage of the pandemic. I hope that the culprit will be captured the soonest possible time. If the modus operandi is true, the PNP and NBI would be filing charges against individuals behind the Bakuna for Sale. They could be slapped with estafa or bribery,” Abalos said.
Also, Abalos warned those who bought the vaccine slots that they would be sued.
“For those individuals who bought Covid vaccines would be charged because they are a principal by inducement,” he said. “If proven to be a scammer, he/she will be charged of violation of the Bayanihan Act.”
“Let this serve as lesson to everyone. The government will enforce the full extent of the law,” the MMDA chairman stressed.
For her part, Mayor Abalos assured the public that the personnel of Mandaluyong City Health Office are willing to be investigated.
She also reiterated that the city government is not selling Covid-19 vaccines nor vaccination slots to anyone, and encourage Mandaluyong residents to register via Mandavax. SOVEREIGNPH