President Rodrigo Duterte revealed the couple who kept being mentioned by public officials for allegedly selling overpriced equipment for COVID-19.
During the IATF-EID meeting on Monday, Duterte asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque III if the rumors about the ‘couple’ who owns a company are selling overpriced equipment to the government.
Former Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin exposed the couple and asked the President to investigate them for selling automated coronavirus testing machines for three times the manufacturers’ price. She also accused a couple of hoarding.
Budget Undersecretary Lloyd Lao informed the President that the Co couple owned the Omnibus Bio-Medical Systems Incorporated.
According to Lao, Omnibus Corporation approached them and offered equipment manufactured by Sansure Biotech for more than 4-M pesos.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said that if you bought the same equipment straight to the manufacturer, it would only cost 1.7-M pesos.
Lao said that Omnibus lost the bidding against a foreign corporation offering the same equipment from Sansure.
He claimed that after losing the bid, Omnibus complained about why the government would not get equipment from them despite being the ‘exclusive’ distributor of Sansure equipment in the Philippines.
Sansure officials went to the Philippines after hearing the issue which gave the government a chance to ask them to buy directly from them instead of having transactions with Omnibus.
“They’re willing to forego of Omnibus, they’re actually negotiating that because they have a relationship with Omnibus, can they use it as distributor, and they’re willing to reduce the price,” Lao said.
“But I made a statement, that we are no longer willing to discuss with Sansure if they go through Omnibus because they were given a chance before when the government really needed it and they gave us a very high price,” he added.
Lao said that they’re going to ‘reward’ Omnibus if the government decide to deal with them despite what happened in the past.
“They should have paid for what they have done before, kasi gipit na gipit tayo, hindi tayo makalipad kasi mayroon tayong mga restrictions and all, they’re the only ones who are connected with Sansure and they’re selling at least not less than double the price, and you cannot get it unless you pass throught them,” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque then said that there’s a law against profiteering and taking advantage of a national emergency.
“Baka po talagang may basis para imbestigahan itong Co couple ng NBI for profiteering and hoarding under the special law on anti-profiteering and under Bayanihan act,” Roque said.
Duterte then advised the NBI to investigate the Co couple “very carefully”.
“Alam mo itong mga p****** *nang negosyante na ito, whether it is really an issue of humanity and the greed, ‘yung hoarding na ‘yan you cannot… it’s part of the business practices which you may call not even obnoxious it’s repulsive to the human mind, when you start to think about it,” Duterte said.
“But let’s look at it what it is legally sans the maybe ‘yung mga suspicion after all, its not easy to charge a person… if NBI finds a probably cause then go ahead,” he added.