Duterte orders NBI to investigate ‘overpriced’ test kits sourced from a local distributor

Spread the love
Image source: Manila Bulletin

President Rodrigo Duterte insructed the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the Omnibus Corporation, the local distributor of the test kits purchased by the Department of Health, for the alleged overpricing of the items.

In his late night address on Monday, Duterte verbalized his orders on national television.

“The NBI should study the matter very carefully […] Let’s look at it on what it is legally,” he said.

To recall, it was Senator Panfilo Lacson who called the attention of the government for this alleged overpricing, citing that an automated extraction machine from the manufacturer Sansure Biotech should only cost ₱1.75 million, but the one purchased by the government is ₱4 million per unit.

A report claimed that it was Health Secretary Francisco Duque III who centralized all the procurement of test kits and machines through the Omnibus Corporation, which the Budget Department identified as the exclusive distributor of Sansure Biotech. The distributing company is reportedly owned by couple named Van William and Emily Co.

Duque said he is not familiar with the couple, after being asked by the president himself.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reminded everyone that profiteering is punishable by law through the Price Act and Bayanihan Law.

House committees to hold hearings during break

Spread the love

Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.