MANILA (UPDATE)—Mandaluyong Police is looking into other persons of interest in the alleged sale of COVID-19 vaccine and inoculation slots in the city, its chief said Thursday.
Kyle Bonifacio had earlier surrendered to Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos and her husband, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos. He has denied the allegations and said he came forward to clear his name.
Mandaluyong Police chief Gauvin Mel Unos, however, said Bonifacio had given a statement that he had gone through such a transaction.
"We are looking into other persons of interest involved sa alleged selling of vaccination . . . According dun sa investigation, meron din siyang statement na merong na-commensurate na ganitong transaction," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(According to investigation, he had given a statement regarding a transaction that went through.)
Based on the viral social media post, Abalos said the transaction did not go through.
"'Yung pinapalabas po sa social media, parang 'di naman natuloy. parang nung nabanggit ang pangalan ng vice mayor namin natakot ito. So dapat talaga maimbestigahan nang husto," he said.
(Based on social media, it seems the transaction did not push through because when the buyer mentioned our vice mayor's name, the seller backed off.)
Bonifacio had no direct connection in the government's vaccination rollout, Unos said.
"Although may(roon) personally sa mga kaibigan nila parang they took advantage of the relationship they have dito sa mga kaibigan. Sila na may involvement sa rollout na ito," he said.
(He had a connection through friends. He like took advantage of the relationship he had with his friends involved in the rollout.)
When asked if Bonifacio might have a connection with those selling COVID-19 jabs in San Juan City, Unos said: "There is a possibility na kasama din po sila dito kasi online din po ang transaction nila."
(It's possible because transactions were also online.)
Bonifacio has been turned over to the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for further investigation, according to the city police chief.
He will then be transferred under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation, Abalos said.
The suspect might face charges for false information under Republic Act 11496 or An Act Declaring the existence of National Emergency arising from COVID-19 in relation to the Cyber Crime Law, Unos said.