Man denies allegations
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — The person behind the alleged sale of COVID-19 vaccine and inoculation slots in Mandaluyong City surrendered to authorities on Wednesday.
The suspect, Kyle Bonifacio, turned himself in to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos and his wife, Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos.
In a press conference with the Abalos couple, Bonifacio denied the allegations, and said he surrendered to clear his name.
"Gusto ko lang sabihin na ‘di talaga ako nagbenta. Ang resibo na ‘yun ay kusang bigay sa akin ng taong ‘yun," Bonifacio said. He did not elaborate his statement and did not identify the person he was referring to.
(I just want to say that I am not selling the slots. The receipts were forwarded to me by that person.)
"Confident ako na wala akong kasalanan dito. Lumutang ako sa publiko para matapos na ang isyung ito," the 25-year-old explained.
(I am confident that I did not do anything wrong. I surfaced to the public to end this issue.)
He also refused to provide other details, saying he would just give his testimony before the police.
Mayor Abalos said Bonifacio's father, a barangay kagawad in the city, called her Tuesday night, informing her that his son is the person authorities have identified and are looking for.
Bonifacio made it clear that his parents had no involvement in the incident.
Screenshots of vaccination slots allegedly being sold for at least P10,000 in Mandaluyong City went viral recently, where a buyer can choose what brand could be used for his or her inoculation.
MMDA chief Abalos earlier said he coordinated with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the allegation.
He earlier said a person has so far been identified, noting that the suspect is not an employee of city hall.
All COVID-19 vaccines have not yet secured authorization for commercial sale in the Philippines.
Malacañang had said that the jabs were only cleared for emergency use because they have yet to complete the fourth phase of clinical trials.
Bonifacio was turned over to the PNP and NBI for further questioning and investigation.
- Reports from Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News