4 vendors of fake drugs nabbed

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

FOUR persons were arrested by police after they were caught selling fake medicines in front of a restaurant in Cebu City late Friday afternoon.

Waterfront Police Station Chief Wildemar Tiu said the suspects, who are from Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, are part of a group whose members disguise themselves as street pharmacists.

They were identified as Wilma Tague Hepiga, 32; Rosevelt Sudiza Cantiga, 27; Nicanor Canoy Permites, 34; and Alphy Arcilla Largo, 25. They are residing in Sitio Cogon, Barangay Inayawan.


Plastic tube

Seized from them were a box of fish oil, two boxes of Chinese medicines in sachets and three boxes of plastic tubes of Chinese medicines. The items are not regulated by the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD).

A concerned citizen called the police after seeing the suspects peddling the medicines in the corner of Osmeña Blvd. and F. Gonzales St.

A team from the Waterfront Police Station, led by PO3 Christopher Sanchez, caught them in the act of selling medicines past 5 p.m.

When interviewed by police, the suspects said they start their modus operandi by giving out free vitamins to customers.

They then ask the customers about their current condition and recommend them their medicine. The medicines reportedly cost P50.

“Ila pa gyud hatagan ug papel nga three digit number sa swertres (They also give their customers swertres numbers),” Tiu told Sun.Star Cebu.

Tiu said the suspects arrived in Cebu during the Sinulog festivities.

“Ang kakuyaw man gud ani nila kay wa ta kahibaw sa effect sa ilang ibaligya. Basin ug rat killer diay ‘to (What’s scary here is that we don’t know what they are selling),” Tiu said.

Tiu said that Hepiga admitted selling fake medicines two years ago.

The suspects are detained at the Waterfront Police Station.

They will face complaints for violating Sec. 24 (prerequisite for the practice of pharmacy) and Sec. 25 (sale of medicine, pharmaceuticals, drugs and devices) of Republic Act 5921, or an act regulating the practice of pharmacy and setting standards of pharmaceutical education in the Philippines and for other purposes.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 02, 2014.

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