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Para ‘di masayang: DOJ to release seized medical supplies to frontline gov’t agencies

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) will soon allow the release of confiscated medical supplies to frontline government agencies in the fight against the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19), said Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete on Monday (March 30).

Perete made this assurance considering that confiscated medical supplies which were seized by law enforcement during operations are usually kept as evidence during prosecution.

“However, the shortage in supply of these confiscated medical items and the urgent necessity to make them available to hospital and medical facilities at the forefront of the fight against the novel coronarvirus prompted the Department to study the possibility of putting them to use even before the commencement of, and without jeopardizing, the prosecution of the criminal case against unscrupulous business owners.” he said.

“We’ll just retain representative samples as part of the evidence,” he added.

The DOJ spokesman said the seized items will be sold during auction.

“But since there is a public health emergency, we are looking at the government being given preference in the sale of this confiscated items,” he pointed out.

“The proceeds of the sale of the seized items is required to be deposited in escrow. If the offender is acquitted, the proceeds will be given to him/her, otherwise it will accrue to the government,” the DOJ spokesman assured.

At the moment, Perete noted that the DOJ is “finalizing first the circular to be signed by the relevant agencies before we release the memo to the prosecutors.”

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