DOJ orders NBI to submit findings on probe into sale of COVID vaccines, vaccination slots

Published May 25, 2021, 11:05 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to submit next week its initial findings on the probe into the alleged sale of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and vaccination slots.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra

The directive was contained in Department Order (DO) No. 120 issued to NBI Officer-In-Charge Director Eric B. Distor.

The DO directs Distor “to submit reports on the progress of the subject investigation directly to the Office of the Secretary within ten days and periodically thereafter.”

It also ordered the NBI to file appropriate charges, “if evidence warrants,” against those found responsible for the unlawful acts.

Guevarra said the investigation was requested by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” D. Abalos Jr.

“MMDA Chair Benhur Abalos reported these incidents to me last Friday, May 21,” he said.

“So I immediately instructed NBI Acting Chief Eric Distor to start investigating. The leads provided to us consisted of excerpts from certain online communications between the transacting parties,” he added.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has also been asked to investigate the alleged selling of vaccines and vaccination slots reportedly being done through the social media.

“Based on the initial result of the investigation, we have already identified at least one person who offered his high school friend two brands of vaccines for a price ranging from P12,000 to P15,500 through a social media messaging app,” said PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar.