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Medical supply depot in Clark Freeport raided

Clark Freeport—Government agents on Thursday raided a warehouse of unregistered Chinese medical supplies and medicines purportedly intended for an illegal makeshift hospital inside the Fontana Leisure Par

Police Col. Amante Daro, regional chief of the 3rd Criminal Investigative and Detection Unit (3CIDU) stationed in Camp Olivas, said the raid was an offshoot of Tuesday’s discovery of the makeshift seven-bed hospital inside Fontana aimed at treating Chinese nationals believed to be infected with the novel coronavirus.

Armed with a search warrant, Daro said the raiding team, including representatives from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health, swooped down on Unit 17-C at the Philexcel Business Park, Clark Freeport Zone, where large amount of imported contraband was stockpiled.

Daro said once the owners have been identified, criminal charges would be filed against them.

READ: Illegal med hub for Sino COVID patients closed

Raiders seized a huge volume of assorted medical supplies and medicine with Chinese characters marking. The FDA is still assessing the value of the unregistered items seized.

The same group raided a makeshift hospital discovered at Fontana following complaints against the unlawful operation of the medical facility.

The hospital was said to be accepting only Chinese occupants of the different villas inside Fontana.

Hundreds of Chinese stay in Fontana either as workers of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) or as transient tourists and businessmen.

The seized items, Daro said were hauled to FDA office in Manila for safekeeping.

The Palace expressed alarm at the illegal operation of a Chinese hospital inside a village at Clark Freeport in Pampanga.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said persons behind the illegal operation of the hospital will face charges.

“Those arrested in Fontana Leisure Parks will be charged for violating the laws that prohibit the practice of medicine by unlicensed professionals and for using medications not registered by the FDA,” Roque said during a press briefing. 

Roque said this is the second time that an illegal Chinese hospital was raided by the government authorities.

On April 26, police raided two illegal clinics and a medicine stockroom in Parañaque City and seized several boxes of medicine for respiratory illnesses allegedly being used as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) announced the arrest of eight Chinese nationals, seven of them employed at a POGO and a Filipino companion in an anti-drug operation in Manila.

In a statement, the NCRPO reported that a composite team from the Paco Police Community Precinct and Ermita Police Station swooped down on Room 301 of Brick Stone Hotel along M. H. Del Pilar Street in Ermita around 7:30 a.m. Monday.

READ: Customs seizes 3 shipments of illegal drugs

Arrested were Huang Kang Chen, 26; Pou Di Zhu, 28; Liuhan Yang, 24; Hai Yang, 24; Hou Yaquiang, 31; Tang Shaohua, 29; and Liu Ji Jang, 29, all POGO employees; and fellow Chinese national Li Jun, 26, jobless, all temporarily billeted at the hotel.

Also arrested was Ranica Fermiza, 24, a resident of University Place Residence, Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila.

Seized from the suspects were one Smith and Wesson Cal. 38 revolver (without a serial number); five live ammunition, and 16 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, with a street value of P108, 800.

The police operation came after an informant told the authorities about an illegal drug transaction involving foreigners.

Two other Chinese nationals, one of them a POGO employer, were also arrested during an entrapment also last Monday in Pasay City.

Arrested were Chuo Xiao, 27, a resident of Pamplona, Las Piñas City, and Han Xiaodong, 35, POGO employer residing at Unit 8-B, Plaza, Condominium, 124 LP Liveste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.

Police also seized more than 18 grams of shabu worth P125,000 from the suspects.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday issued guidelines for operators and employees of POGOs while the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ) are still in effect in the country.

Included in the Labor Advisory No. 19, series of 2020, are the requirements for the application and issuance of alien employment permit (AEPs) for the foreign workers.

“For Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and related establishments, in addition to the documentary requirements for the issuance of Alien Employment Permits (AEPs), the applicant shall also submit a copy of recent PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) Authorization to Operate, as proof that the POGO establishment is authorized to resume operations,” it said.

The DOLE is leaving the decision to its regional offices if they want to issue their own internal guidelines regarding the mode of accepting AEP applications and the release of AEP cards. With Willie Casas

Topics: Chinese medical supplies , Fontana Leisure Park , Amante Daro
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