NBI raids store selling overpriced alcohol in Quezon

March 24, 2020
NBI-Quezon deputy chief Ferdinand Dagdag (center) leads the seizure of some 200 bottles of overpriced ethyl alcohol being sold at KoreEca Medical Supplies Trading in Lucena City. Photo by GEMI FORMARAN

LUCENA City – Members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday detained a female trader engaged in selling overpriced rubbing alcohol in Bgy. Ibabang Dupay here.

NBI-Quezon chief Dominador Villanueva said Ma.Theresa Lizano, 39, of  Bgy. Ibabang Dupay and owner of  KoreEca Medical Supplies Trading did not resist  when accosted by authorities.

Villanueva said the raid was conducted by his men led by deputy agent Ferdinand Dagdag and representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

He said the operation came after some residents complained that the store was selling overpriced ethyl alcohol and other medical supplies.

After a successful test buy, the lawmen raided the store where they seized 200 bottles of 500 ml. ethyl alcohol around 4 p.m.

Dagdag said the store sells the alcohol for P230 each bottle, three times higher than what was allowed by the DTI.

DTI- Quezon representative Philip Oliveros said each bottle should be sold for P74 only.

In an interview, Lizano said she did not overprice the product, claiming she had bought it from a supplier at almost similar price.

"Ang totoo po n'yan, nabili ko ang mga alcohol sa aking supplier sa Manila sa halagang P220 kada bote. Dahil nagkakaubusan na ng alcohol ay binili ko na kahit mahal. Una ay para sa family use. Wala naman akong intensyong manloko. Pero dahil gusto ko namang mapabalik sa akin kahit paano ang ginastos ko kaya ko ibinenta nang mahal din," said Lizano, a single mother who has been in the business for a year.

Dagdag said Lizano was a small “catch” compared to the reported number of big-time profiteers in the province.

"But what is important here is the message that was sent to concerned traders that we're not just looking at them,” Dagdag stressed.

He said Lizano will be charged with violations of Republic Act 7581, a law the provides protection to consumers by stabilizing the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities.