Three arrested for hoarding, selling overpriced alcohol

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 20) — Authorities arrested three people for hoarding and selling overpriced alcohol amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippine National Police in a news release on Friday said authorities recovered more than ₱250,000 worth of ethyl alcohol from the suspects.

Two of them were arrested in a joint operation with the Department of Trade and Industry in Sangandaan, Caloocan City on Thursday, the PNP said. The buy-bust was conducted in response to online complaints.

The suspects were caught selling 500 ml bottles of ethyl alcohol at ₱140, instead of the retail price of ₱61 to ₱74.25 only.

A total of 131 bottles of alcohol worth ₱23,620 were recovered from them.

Meanwhile, a third suspect – a saleslady at a medical supplies store at Bambang St., Sta. Cruz, Manila sold overpriced 60 ml alcohol bottles at ₱80 each, the PNP said.

Around 1,380 bottles of ethyl alcohol, estimated to be around ₱231,000, were confiscated from the store.

All three suspects are facing cases for violating the Price Act, Consumer Act, and the recent directives of President Rodrigo Duterte and the DTI against hoarding. These were issued amid the panic buying over the surge in coronavirus disease cases.

The entire Luzon has been placed under enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of COVID-19. Only one person per household is allowed to go out for basic necessities.

The country now has 230 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 18 deaths and eight recoveries.