Isko Moreno wants NBI probe into stalls selling products labeling Manila as ‘province of China’

21-Aug-2020 Intellasia | PhilStar | 10:46 AM Print This Post

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno asked the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the business operations of Divisoria stores allegedly selling products with labels tagging the Philippine capital as “province of China.”

In a two-page letter to NBI Officer-in-Charge Eric Distor, Moreno urged the bureau to conduct an investigation into Elegant Fumes Beauty Products Inc (EFBPI) that the city government ordered closed on Thursday afternoon.

Moreno ordered the closure of four business establishments in Divisoria Mall carrying the cosmetic product “Ashley Keratin Treatment Deep Repair” which called Manila as a province of China in its packaging.

Referring the this label, Moreno said: “[T]he above-cited information in the packaging of Ashley Keratin is an affront to the sovereignty of the Philippines and an insult to its duly constitute authorities.”

He also accused the stores of violating the Consumer Act of the Philippines and Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, and of engaging in online selling without requisites permits.

“In view of the foregoing, we are requesting that an investigation be conducted on the business operations of EFBPI and if warranted, cause the filing of criminal complaints against the corporation and its officers and/or incorporator,” the city mayor said.

Moreno also said they are willing to submit documents relevant to the investigation to the bureau.

‘Deport the Chinese owners too’

Moreno had also written to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente to urge the bureau to initiate deportation proceedings against the two Chinese incorporators of the stores that the Manila mayor identified as Shi Zhong Xing and Shi Li Li.

“Being incorporators, and in effect owners of the corporation, they should be held responsible for the violations committed by the EFBPI,” he said in his letter to the immigration chief.

Moreno added: “Their utter disrespect to the country as shown by the violations of EFBPI should not be countenanced. We cannot let these foreign nationals insult our nation and our people.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Jericho Nograles (Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list) wrote to the Department of Trade and Industry and asked the agency to prohibit the distribution of the product.

“Any act to undermine our sovereignty must be taken seriously,” Nograles told Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez in a letter dated August 19.

Malacanang dismissed the issue, calling it ridiculous and does not warrant attention. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in Filipino: “We know the Philippines is not a province of China.”

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte made a joke about making “Philippines, province of China” while addressing a crowd of Chinese-Filipino businesspeople.


Category: Philippines

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