Seized PPEs, medical supplies to be given to frontliners

By April 8, 2020 No Comments

MANILA, Philippines – To give relief in the shortage of medical supplies, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the seized and impounded personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies shall be distributed to medical workers battling the spread of COVID-19.

Guevarra’s statement came after NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas said the seized medical supplies cannot be donated to the health workers just yet because it has to be presented in court first or they will be sanctioned.

READ: Sinas: Seized overpriced face masks, medical items are evidence, can’t be used

But Guevarra said the prosecutors can retain a small portion of the seized items as evidence in filing cases against smugglers, hoarders and those involved in price manipulation.

“Our prosecutors, pending investigation, will allow the release of seized and impounded medical supplies to the frontline agencies, such as the Department of Health (DOH), for proper disposition, without prejudice to the outcome of the investigation. We will just retain representative samples as part of the evidence,” Guevarra said.

Justice Undersecretary and DOJ spokesman Markk Perete meanwhile said the DOJ has been coordinating with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Bureau of Customs.

He said a circular is being finalized to be signed by the concerned agencies regarding the disposition of PPEs and other medical supplies before issuing a memorandum to the prosecutors.

Since last week, the NBI  alone has confiscated over 1,500 thermal scanners and millions worth of facemasks from sellers who face chargers of hoarding, overpricing and price manipulation, among others.

The Philippine National Police has also conducted similar operations.

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