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Duterte orders arrest of black marketeers of COVID-19 medicines

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered law enforcers to arrest those who engage in the black market sale of COVID-19 medicines amid the ongoing pandemic.

Duterte gave the order after Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officer-in-charge Dr. Oscar Gutierrez said the agency issued a certificate of product registration on December 27, 2021 for remdesivir.

He said the FDA registration meant an end to the sale of overpriced remdesivir in the black market.

"Remember nagkaroon ng increase ng black market of remdesivir. Finally this will come to an end, we issued the CPR last December 27," Gutierrez said at Duterte's Talk to the People on Thursday night.

"That means it can now be supplied to public drug outlets para mawala ang black market," he added.

Duterte ordered the authorities to go after these "black marketeers",  whom he said were taking advantage of people already having a hard time during the pandemic.

"Yung black market, at this time lalo na na may naghihirap, yung black market, 'yung nahuli I would insist for the police to arrest them and detain them for investigation," Duterte said.

"If it is a serious offense that would be about 24 hours of detention and that time, you can investigate,"  he added. —NB, GMA News