Hoarders, profiteers

April 02, 2020

THE public supports the government’s nationwide campaign against hoarding and profiteering by unscrupulous traders as the authorities try to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Admittedly, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on business, tourism, employment, transportation, education, sports and other events not only in the Philippines but throughout the world.

In the country, people, particularly the poorest of the poor, have been calling on President Duterte and other concerned government authorities to hit hard at hoarders and profiteers.

As a consumer said, traders found guilty of hoarding and overpricing of basic commodities, like rice, sardines, sugar and even salt, should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

The irate lady consumer likened these “economic saboteurs” to politicians and local and barangay officials who still engage in corruption amid the coronavirus disease crisis.

In threatening to detain corrupt public servants, Duterte said he would never tolerate corruption, embezzlement, hoarding and other crimes that could deter efforts to curb the pandemic.

A “tinapa” (smoked fish) vendor, on the other hand, agreed with President Duterte that unscrupulous officials tasked to distribute money, food and other relief goods ought to rot in jail.

The vendor lauded the PNP, headed by Gen. Archie Gamboa, for arresting, jailing and prosecuting in court over 600 persons engaged in hoarding and profiteering in Luzon and other parts of the country.

Police operatives recovered from the suspects some P15 million worth of alcohol, face masks, hand sanitizers and even thermal scanners, according to the country’s top “Mamang Pulis.”

The PNP and the Department of Trade and Industry under Secretary Ramon Lopez deserve the support of the people as they go after those who will take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic.