Mayor, NBI bust illegal Chinese pharmacy in Angeles City

Angeles City officials confiscate medicines and medical products with labels in Chinese characters

Jun A. Malig

Published: 11:21 PM May 28, 2020

Updated: 11:23 PM May 28, 2020

SUSPECTS. The alleged owner and pharmacist of the illegal Chinese pharmacy. (Photo from Facebook page of Angeles City information office.)

PAMPANGA, Philippines – Angeles City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr, with the assistance of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and officers of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), raided an alleged illegal Chinese pharmacy in the tourist area of Barangay Anunas in the city on Thursday, May 28.

A Facebook post of the Angeles City information office early evening on Thursday showed Lazatin and other city government officials and personnel inside the drug store located at the Korean Town portion of Barangay Anunas.

The photos of the raid included those of the two handcuffed suspects, both Chinese citizens – one is the alleged owner of the drug store while the other is the alleged pharmacist.

BUST. Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. (center) inspects the suspected illegal Chinese pharmacy. In the foreground are the alleged Chinese owner and pharmacist of the drug store. (Photo from Facebook page of Angeles City information office)

The city information office, which described the drug store as a “makeshift medical facility,” said local police also provided support to the raiding team.

“An illegal underground medical facility in Korean Town, Barangay Anunas was shut down on May 28, 2020, as Angeles City Mayor Carmelo ‘Pogi’ Lazatin Jr., in coordination with National Bureau of Investigation, Food and Drug Administration and Philippine National Police, raided the makeshift medical facility, where two Chinese nationals were arrested,” the city information office said in its Facebook post. 

The drug store, which apparently lacked FDA permit to operate, was allegedly selling Chinese-labeled medicines and medical products. 

Media reports said that COVID-19 testing kits were also confiscated during the raid.

This is the third time in just over a week that Chinese citizens have been arrested for running illegal medical facilities and selling unregistered medicines.

Last May 19, the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Central Luzon, and the Food and Drug Administration raided an illegal makeshift hospital for Chinese citizens suspected infected with the coronavirus being operated in the Fontana Leisure Park inside the Clark Freeport Zone also in this province.

Most of the patients of the bogus medical facility were Chinese workers of the Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) inside the 300-hectare residential resort.

On May 26, Makati City police busted an illegal lying-in clinic and pharmacy for COVID-19 patients in Barangay San Antonio. Cops arrested the owners who were a pair of Chinese citizens. –