3 persons, barangay official arrested for ‘selling’ COVID vaccination slots

Published July 27, 2021, 5:02 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

National Bureau of Investigation (2)

Four persons, including a barangay official, have been arrested in Pasay City for allegedly selling vaccination slots for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday, July 27, identified those arrested were Barangay 187 Secretary Ferdinand Madrid Balagot, Peter Ogay Ong, Mary Rose Ogay Ong, and Warlito Dabuet Mabanan.

NBI Officer-in-Charge Director Eric B. Distor said they were arrested during an entrapment operating at a vaccination site by agents of the NBI’s Special Action Unit (NBI-SAU) who caught the suspects in the act of receiving P63,000 in marked money.

Distor said those arrested have been charged with estafa under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and with violations of Republic Act No. 11032, the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.

The NBI, in a statement, said Balagot was also charged with violations of RA 6713, the Code and Ethical Standards for Public officials and Employees, and RA 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

It said that “according to one of the complainants identified as James, he was asked by the other complainant who is a Chinese national to help him and his nine (9) Chinese friends to be vaccinated as they were concerned with their health amidst the growing number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease in the country.”

“James then asked around in search of available vaccination slots and came across an alias Paul who told him to wait and he will provide them with Astra Zeneca (vaccination) slots in exchange for P7,000 per slot,” it said.

The complainants sought the help of the NBI, it added.