POLICE will investigate the reported hoarding of oxygen tanks and other medical supplies in the country amid the continuing threat of COVID-19, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said on Wednesday.
The PNP chief said he has instructed the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) headed by Major Gen. Albert Ignatius D. Ferro to spearhead the investigation into the hoarding of the medical supplies.
The top cop issued the order after Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama called on the police and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to look into the supposed hoarding of oxygen tanks in the city.
“Makikipagugnayan at tulungan ang PNP sa DTI para silipin ang sinasabing hoarding ng oxygen tanks, lalo na sa Cebu City. I have directed the Cebu City Police and the Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to closely coordinate with the DTI office in the area and look into this report of hoarding,” said Gen. Eleazar.
According to the official, they will also check if there are also incidents of hoarding of oxygen tanks and other medical supplies in Metro Manila and other parts of the country during the pandemic.
“Pati dito sa Metro Manila ay aalamin din natin kung may mga ganitong insidente. Ngayon natin mas kailangan ng sapat na suplay ng oxygen tanks dahil sa tumataas na bilang ng COVID-19 cases dahil na rin sa mas nakahahawang Delta variant,” he said.
Gen. Eleazar urged businessmen and the rest of the general public to avoid hoarding oxygen tanks and other medical supplies.
“Hindi biro ang sitwasyon natin ngayon. Mga buhay ang nakasalalay sa sapat na suplay ng oxygen tanks. Mas kailangan natin ngayon ang pagkakaisa para pagtulungang mapigilan ang pagdami pa ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa,” he said.