MANILA City Mayor Isko Moreno warned the public against the operation of a syndicate offering fake express swab tests in exchange for a fee and victimizing those who need the test results so they can go back to their provinces.
Moreno made the warning after the special mayor’s reaction team (SMART) headed by Lt. Col. Jhun Ibay presented two suspects, a man and a woman, said to be working as cohorts victimizing Badjaos who want to leave Metro Manila and go back to their province.
“Uulitin ko, ang swab test sa Maynila ay libre. Talo inip nga lang kasi mahaba talaga ang pila. Pero libre itong ibinibigay ng pamahalaang-lungsod mapa-ospital, bahay, sa quarantine facility at maging sa Luneta drive-through. ‘Wag maniwala sa tolongges at estapador,” Moreno stressed.
On inquiry, Moreno learned that the male suspect is the one who delivers to the woman the prospective victims who are asked to pay P1,000 each.
Police recovered from the suspects’ possession at least a hundred papers containing fake swab test results. The duo claimed they were merely helping the victims and that they did not ask for money, to which Moreno retorted: “Bigyan nga ito ng gold medal.”
The mayor pointed out that in the first place, the certification for the swab tests is supposed to be signed and not merely printed out.
The investigation further showed that the victims were being kept by the female suspect in a compound where they pay rent of up to P1,500 each while waiting for their documents to be released to them.
The mayor admonished the two whom he said can afford to use the present Covid situation as a way to make easy money.
“Pekeng swab test. Eh di pati anak nýo ine-expose nýo sa Covid19. Tapos magrereklamo kayo sa gobyerno eh mga tolongges na kagaya ninyo ang nagpaparami sa Covid,” Moreno said. ANDI GARCIA
PHOTO: Philippine Newspaper