NBI nabs barangay official, companion in ‘sale’ of COVID vaccination slots

Published July 30, 2021, 3:18 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

National Bureau of Investigation

A barangay kagawad (councilman) and his companion have been arrested for “selling vaccination slots” for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tondo, Manila, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said on Friday, July 30.

NBI Officer-in-Charge Director Eric B. Distor identified the two arrested persons as Barangay Kagawad Arturo Flores Magtalas and Benjie Lagasca Montaos.

Distor said they were arrested during an entrapment operation conducted by agents of the NBI’s Special Action Unit (NBI-SAU) last July 24 at the vaccination site at Gen. Vicente Lim Elementary School in Tondo. Seized from them were P60,000 in marked bills paid by NBI agents who posed as clients.

“Subjects were presented for inquest proceedings before the Office of the City Prosecutor, Manila for violations of Republic Act No. 11032, the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, and RA 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” the NBI said in a statement.

“Additional charges for violation of RA 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) were filed against Arturo F. Magtalas,” it said.

The NBI said it acted on a report of “illegal sale of vaccination slots to POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations) employees by certain ‘Benjie’.”

It said that “’Benjie’ offered to personally assist the individuals who wish to avail themselves of vaccination in Manila and asked for P6,000 for each vaccination slot.”