Illegal clinics, medicine stockroom raided in Parañaque

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27) — Authorities raided two illegal clinics and a medicine stockroom in Parañaque City on Sunday night.

Among those seized in the stockroom in Barangay Baclaran in Parañaque was a large shipment of medicine for respiratory illnesses allegedly being used as a possible treatment for the coronavirus disease. There is no confirmed cure yet for COVID-19.

They found many more boxes of medicine and medical supplies from China in the stockroom, such as boxes of dextrose and medicine ranging from antibiotics, anti-viral drugs, and medicine used for treating sexually transmitted diseases.

“They have all kinds of medicines. Na-amaze ako kasi puro injectables silang lahat,” says Paranaque City Health Officer Dr. Olga Virtusio. She adds, “Kakaunti 'yung oral meds, madami ding through IV (intravenous) fluid.”

[Translation: I was amazed because most of the medicines I saw were injectables. There were a few oral meds, but there were a lot of IV fluids.]

Meanwhile, some types of medicine sold by the two illegal clinics are a herbal supplement is used as a traditional Chinese treatment for colds, fever, cough, and sore throat and a non-prescription drug for flu and respiratory illnesses.

“The team is thinking na most probably they are really catering to the POGOs around, especially noong nagkaroon tayo ng massive routing of the different clubs at madaming nakitang prostitution. Mostly chinese ang nahuhuli," the doctor added. 

Authorities said they acted on a tip from a disgruntled worker from one of the illegal clinics. The owner of one of the clinics allegedly took her quarantine pass. As a result, the helper informed officials of what she called a “hospital” catering to mostly Chinese patients.

“Going inside, makikita mo mga upuan, with facility for IV infusion, meron siyang mga IV stand bawat upuan. May beds pero hindi siya enough beds for hospitalization. This is parang clinic lang ito eh. not a hospital,” Virtusio said.

[Translation: You will see the chairs with IV stands beside it. There are beds, but not enough to be called a hospital. It's more of a clinic.]

Virtusio added that the clinic has been operating for at least three weeks.

“Madaming nakakakita na may pumpunta. Kumukuha ng gamot, at may mga pumapasok in and out na nakadextrose. May mga witnesses, naka-IV fluid,” she said.

The helper also told the authorities some types of medicine were being marketed as COVID-19 cure.

“Ang hinahanap din talaga namin, yung mga for COVID na sinasabi nilang gamot na nakakagaling," Virtusio added.

[Translation: We are looking for the medicine allegedly used to cure COVID.]

After the city government closed down the place, authorities found another similar clinic just a few blocks away.

Police found a Chinese man claiming to be a doctor in the second clinic. He did not speak on camera but presented what he claimed to be his doctor’s license in China.

The local government said they are finding out who owns this clinics and the stockroom.

Charges will be filed against the owners for violating quarantine laws, medical regulations, and for operating without necessary permits. The confiscated boxes of medicine will be turned over to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing.

On Friday, authorities arrested 44 Chinese employees working at an illegal Philippine offshore gaming operation at a house along Barangay Tambo, Naia Road in Parañaque City following reports of suspected individuals roaming around the area after curfew hours.

Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez has requested the Bureau of Immigration to deport the Chinese nationals.