Toxic disinfectant that killed PNP doctor came from OCD

Published June 8, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Aaron Recuenco

The Philippine National Police (PNP) pointed to the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) as the source of the toxic chemicals being used as a decontamination solution in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) facilities in Pasig City where a police doctor died and four other cops were hospitalized.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa (NCRPO PIO / MANILA BULLETIN)
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa

Because of this, PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa has requested the National Bureau of Investigation to include the OCD in the probe with regard to the death of Police Capt. Casey Gutierrez, adding that it was the family of Gutierrez that sought the assistance of the NBI.

“Everything in both PICC (Philippine International Convention Center) and Ultra (Philsports Arena in Pasig) are managed by the OCD. So it’s OCD which will put in their service providers,” said Gamboa.

“So, it is the OCD which has the power to procure and to determine the service provider that they want,” he added.

Aside from the chemicals, Gamboa said that the Personal Protective Equipment being used by the police also came from the OCD.

Gutierrez and the four other cops who were hospitalized were presumed to be wearing the PPEs when the decontamination solution was sprayed on them.

On March 24, Gutierrez complained of difficulty in breathing after allegedly inhaling toxic chemicals from the decontamination solution being sprayed on personnel manning the PhilSports Arena. He died on May 30.

Gutierrez’s two companions were also hospitalized. On June 1, the Manila Bulletin learned that two more cops were hospitalized after being sprayed with a decontamination solution at Philsports Arena.

Gamboa said he had already ordered the investigation on the incident, with experts from the Department of Health taking the lead.

Part of the investigation is to improve the protocol, especially in preparing the decontamination solution, to prevent a repeat of the incident.

Gamboa said they have already changed the formula in the preparation of the decontamination solution. He said they also used organic chemicals.

“On the part of the investigation, I hope NBI, if they will acquire jurisdiction over the case, I hope they will include everything from the service provider, from OCD to the PNP primarily to find out who is responsible, and second, to improve our system,” said Gamboa.

“Hopefully, the investigation will still result in improvement of protocols and procedures in these quarantine areas. Our primary consideration here is the welfare of our personnel,” he added.