Bulacan CIDG nabs profiteers, hoarders of face masks amid COVID-19 crisis

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The Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) interrogates hoarding suspects Mico Cantero (left) and Ralph Evangelista (2nd from right) in CIDG provincial office in City of Malolos on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Bulacan PNP)

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan — The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in this province seized over P294,000 worth of face masks during an entrapment operation against hoarders and profiteers in front of barangay hall of Bulihan in Pladidel town on Wednesday (April 1).

Acting Bulacan Provincial Director P/Col. Lawrence Cajipe, said the CIDG together with Plaridel police in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also arrested 2 hoarders identified as Mico Cantero Y Bilog, 28 years old, a driver, a resident of Unit 1, Salvador Estate, Brgy San Isidro, Parañaque City and Ralphy Evangelista Y Chua, 30, a driver, residing at 39-D, Eulogia Drive, Balintawak, Quezon City.

Based on the report, an under cover agent made an online transaction with the suspects and ordered 280 packs, each pack contains 50 pieces of disposable surgical face mask for the price of P1,050 per pack based on the amount the suspect offers online with a total amount of P294,000 which exceeds the Department of Health (DOH) suggested retail price (SRP) of between P1.10 – P8.00 per piece or P55.00 – P400.00 per pack.

Confiscated during the operation were 280 packs with 50 pcs per pack unbranded disposable surgical face mask amounting to P294,00, one genuine P1000 peso bill, and 63 pieces of 1000 bill boodle money.

“The arrested suspects are presently under the custody of Bulacan CIDG together with the confiscated pieces of evidence,” Cajipe said.

Both suspects are facing cases for violating the Price Act, Consumer Act, and the recent directives of President Rodrigo Duterte and the DTI against hoarding, are being prepared against the suspects to be filed before the Malolos City Prosecutors Office.

Cajipe added that the Bulacan police is stern and relentless in the implementation of “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” and will not cease to go after the individuals and storeowners who will engaged in profiteering, overpricing and hoarding medical supplies. (RONDA BALITA Online)

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Emmanuel "Manny" Dineros Balbin, an editor-in-chief of RONDA Balita, Lingguhang Pahayagan ng Masang Intelihente, and RONDA Balita Online News was a former seminarian of Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) in Notre Dame University Seminary in Cotabato City. Graduated Philosophy as major course, Political Science as minor, at the University of Santo Tomas, Legaspi City but landed and became a journalist. A former Journal Group of Publication (People's Journal, Peoples Tonight, Taliba & Women's Journal) staffer for 17 years. Before he was simultaneously contributed news articles to 3 local newspaper in Bulacan (NewsCore, MetroNews & NewsWatcher). A former Journal Group Bulacan correspondent, Kabayan provincial reporter, 2010 Bulacan election correspondent by Rappler and presently, a stringer of Philippine News Agency (PNA) Bulacan.

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