President Rodrigo Duterte warned the public not to purchase medical equipment, such as face masks, online to avoid being scammed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He advised not to buy from sellers from the provinces, citing Pampanga and Abra.

“I’d like to address this to everybody. Mga kababayan, do not fall for that sa online-online. It has never been perfected. And all the scams that man could think of, that they can perpetrate on the innocent public, pinag-aaralan nila iyan,” explained Duterte.

“Saan sila mag-kuha ng masks doon? Nandito ang Maynila. Dito kayo sa Maynila,” Duterte added.

He noted that scammers “take advantage of the misery of the people” amid the pandemic.

Authorities have been arresting people engaged in the hoarding and selling of overpriced surgical face masks and other online scams.

Such deeds violate the provision under the Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, in which a violator can face two-month imprisonment or pay up between PHP10,000 to PHP1 million fines, or both.

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