Palace warns PNP to raid stores hoarding masks
Malacanang warned on Friday that the Philippine National Police will raid stores engaged in hoarding face masks amid the strong demand for the product due to the entry of novel coronavirus in the country.
There were reports that there was already insufficient supply of masks in the market.
"That should be raided by the PNP. If they are hoarding, that's unlawful," said Panelo, who is also the chief presidential legal counsel, in a phone patch interview.
At the same time, the official called on the mask manufacturers to produce more.
"If there is undersupply of mask, then we request the manufacturers to produce more. In fact, they should not be requested to do that. As businessmen they should," he said.
Meanwhile, Panelo clarified that in the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to ban also travelers from other areas in China where there are cases of nCoV, there should be official communication from the government of China.
Duterte earlier ordered to ban travelers from Hubei and other places in China where are cases of coronavirus.
The Department of Health confirmed Thursday the first case of nCoV in the country involving a Chinese woman who traveled from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus in Hubei, to Hong Kong and then flew to Cebu, then to Dumaguete and finally landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The woman is confined at government-owned San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, said Panelo. Celerina Monte/DMS