News Release

NBI asked to investigate company selling overpriced medical equipment

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 25, 2020. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate a couple who allegedly tried to put the government in a disadvantageous position by offering overpriced medical equipment in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“And NBI should study the matter very, very carefully kasi alam mo — alam mo itong mga p***** i**** negosyanteng ‘to, whether it’s really an issue of humanity and their greed, ‘yung hoarding na ano you cannot — it’s part of the business ano practices which you may call not even obnoxious, it’s repulsive to the human mind when you start to think about it,” he said in a televised public address on Monday.

“If the NBI has the probable cause, then go ahead. But I still believe in the what accrues to — accruing to government people working, the presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties.”

During the meeting with other government officials, the President expressed his interest to know if there was graft and corruption in the procurement of medical supplies, and whether dirty money changed hands in the purchase of equipment.

Among those mentioned was the Co couple, the owners of Omnibus Bio-Medical Systems Inc, which claimed to be the exclusive distributor of Sansure medical equipment in the Philippines.

Omnibus was also among the companies which joined a bidding, along with two other local companies, for the supply of the equipment. It lost, however, to a Hong Kong-based company.

During the meeting with the President, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the couple may have violated existing law against profiteering defined as “taking advantage of a national emergency” as well as the provisions of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law.

“And I think from what we heard from at least Project Ark, this is very serious kasi nga the only source that we can get these PCR machineries and kit is from Sansure now and there was really almost an attempt to blackmail us into buying something very expensive,” he said. PND