Eleazar clears 'vaccine slot for sale' whistleblower from charges

Published June 12, 2021, 2:47 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Eleazar ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Saturday, June 12, to withdraw the cases filed against a businesswoman who revealed the alleged illegal selling of COVID-19 vaccine slots in some local government unit (LGUs) in Metro Manila.

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar (File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Eleazar said that after a “thorough review,” the PNP Legal Team concluded that Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera, CEO of local cosmetics company Colourette Cosmetics, “should not have been included in the criminal complaint” filed by the CIDG at the Mandaluyong Prosecutor’s Office against those involved in the scheme.

“With this development, I already instructed the CIDG to withdraw the cases filed against her before the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s Office in the soonest possible time,” the PNP Chief said in a statement.

Eleazar also ordered the relief of Police Lt. Col. Arnold Moleta as the chief of the CIDG Eastern Metro Manila District Field Unit for “lapse in judgment” and “command responsibility” in the conduct of the investigation.

“Let this serve as a reminder to all our personnel that if you are assigned to do a task, always make sure that you do your best, and do it right,” Eleazar said.

“This incident, however, will not affect our determination to run after those who would dare to take advantage of our kababayan using the government’s vaccination program,” he added.

Last Wednesday, the PNP said it filed complaints for estafa and violation of the Anti-Red Tape Law and Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2021 against Dizon-Cabrera and two others over the alleged illegal selling of vaccine slots in some Metro Manila LGUs, particularly in Mandaluyong City. The two other respondents were identified as Cyle Cedric Bonifacio and Melvin Gutierrez.

However, the businesswoman hit the PNP for including her among the respondents, saying that she was the one who made the scheme known to public. Dizon-Cabrera has posted photos of the conversation of the culprits on her Twitter account, which was then used by the PNP in their investigation.

Dizon-Cabrera was apparently relieved that she was cleared from the scheme, as she made a social media post on Saturday: “And the truth has prevailed.”

While the cases against Dizon-Cabrera were ordered withdrawn by Eleazar, the charges against Bonifacio and Gutierrez will remain, Eleazar said.

Bonifacio was accused of selling vaccine slots to his customers online while Gutierrez, a volunteer fireman at the Mandaluyong City Hall, was identified by the police as his contact who could allegedly provide the vaccines and slots in exchange for P12,000 to P15,500 depending on the brand of the jabs.