Duterte orders probe on fraudulent COVID-19 tests, arrest of culprits

President Duterte has ordered an investigation into the alleged fraudulent practices in the country's coronavirus testing, saying perpetrators must be arrested.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

The President has expressed concern over reports of people getting "false positive" and "false negative" results from testing sites.

Any fraudulent activity, Duterte said, only erodes public trust in the testing system against the coronavirus.

"I have to get to call these people again at sabihin ko ano ba talaga itong put***.. kasi false positive, false negative. Hindi mo malaman ano ba ito totohanan, iba diyan peke (what's really going on son of a... There are reports of false positive, false negative. You don't know anymore if it is true or fake)," he said during his visit to Dumaguete City Thursday, March 11.

"So I will have to order the police again, wala akong ibang mautusan, hindi ko naman mautusan ang doctor (I have no one else to direct. I can't order around doctors). I have to order the police and the military to find out and arrest these people," he added.

In his speech, Duterte mentioned the alleged irregularities in COVID-19 testing, citing some people get varying test results.

"The problem is I have to talk to the medical kasi hindi ko malaman kung (because I don't know) if there is something that is really stupid going around kasi yung iba magpa swab ka, positive ka (when others take the swab test, they are positive). But just to confirm people go to another swabbing station at magpa swab, negative (they take the swab test and get negative result)," he said.

"That is contributing to the parang ano ng tao, they are not comfortable with the system that we are having know," he said.

Apart from testing irregularities, the President took aim at individuals or groups that would procure unapproved coronavirus vaccines.

"Atsaka yan nagpapabili ng bakuna, naku, wag ka sana mahuli, pag nahuli ka patawag kita sa Malacañang (Those buying vaccines, hope you won't get caught. If I catch you, I will summon you to Malacañang)," he said.

The President issued the latest directives as the government started to vaccinate health workers deployed across the country.

So far, more than 80,000 people have received the COVID-19 jabs to boost protection against the coronavirus.

The country earlier received over 1.1 million doses of vaccines developed by Sinovac and AstraZeneca.

Additional vaccine supplies are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.