MANILA Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso has ordered the police commanders of the 11 city police stations to go after those behind the manufacturing and selling of fake medicines.

Domagoso issued the order during a command conference held at Manila City Hall on Friday evening, after an online seller was arrested for selling counterfeit medicines worth more than P1 million.

MPD Station 2 Intelligence Branch chief PMaj. Joseph Jimenez identified the suspect as 29-year-old Monique T. Gamboa who was arrested during a police operation on Thursday along Bambang St., corner Yakal St., Sta Cruz.

MPD operatives received an instruction from Domagoso to investigate the alleged illegal activities of the online seller.

Seized were 800 boxes (eighteen thousand tablets) of counterfeit Bioflu medicines; one box of spurious Neozep tablets; and 2 boxes of rapid antigen test kits all amounting to P1.08 million.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 8203, otherwise known as the Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs), RA 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines), RA 9711 or the Food and Drugs Administration Act of 2009 and Manila City Ordinance 8331 or Omnibus Revenue Code for operating without business permit were filed against the suspect.

According to Mayor Domagoso, Unilab sought the help of his office to ask for police assistance in apprehending those behind the proliferation of fake medicines under the brand names of the manufacturers.

Despite the successful operation in Sta. Cruz, the Manila city chief executive ordered MPD officials to be observant in their respective areas and build an intelligence dossier of suspected persons engaged in the selling of fake medicines.

He appealed to the public to be wary of online sellers of medicines such as paracetamol and analgesic, which are in demand right now amid the Omicron surge.

Domagoso further advised the public not to buy medicines online and instead, should go to the official websites of pharmaceutical companies to ensure that what they are buying are authentic.