Stressing that online scammers posing as sellers should be imprisoned, President Duterte on Monday, Feb. 14, told Filipinos to avoid buying online for now.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his regular public address on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. (RTVM Screenshot)

“I am advising the Filipinos [na] (to) lay off muna kayo diyan sa (first from that) online-online. Maraming tulisan diyan (There are a lot of scammers there). Their imagination can really go wild and think of a violation that is really panloloko sa tao (to scam the people),” he said during a pre-recorded late night Talk to the People.

The Chief Executive is especially concerned about selling fake medicines online, adding that these sellers should go to prison and are on “top” of his list.

“Dito sa mga medisina (This medicine), serious fraud ito. Dapat talaga ang sentensya niyan ay (The sentence there) must go to prison,” Duterte said.

While admitting that he was not an expert in laws involving online scams, he stressed that there is “no excuse” to it.

The President also insisted on the importance of filing the proper cases before authorities.

“Very important na mademanda kasi (to sue because) that’s the only way to discourage people selling fake medicine,” Duterte said.

He told Cabinet officials there not to “venture out” in raids “without the corresponding prosecution” to strengthen the case against the sellers.

The operation might be “better off” led by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) or the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

“Maski saan diyan sa dalawa, okay iyan. Ang akin lang kasi (Any one of those two, it’s okay. For me), there must be follow up sa (in the) prosecution para mahinto na ito (to stop this),” the President said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (