‘I was transparent to authorities’: Makeup brand CEO says after being charged for ‘vaccine slot for sale’ scam she exposed

June 10, 2021 - 12:31 PM
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This composite photo shows makeup brand owner Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera. (TheNinaEllaine/Instagram)

The owner of a local makeup brand issued a clarification after she was tagged by the police in a case regarding an alleged “vaccine slot for sale” scheme which she herself exposed online.

In an interview with ANC on Thursday, Colourette CEO Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera said that she was transparent to local authorities and shared the information she got regarding the scam.

“I even got in touch with San Juan LGU because they emailed me right after they saw my post…they even thanked me for all the information that I passed on to them. I was really transparent sharing information to authorities,” Dizon-Cabrera said.

“I didn’t even receive the end of complainant’s case, which is why we’re still waiting for it,” she added.

The Philippine National Police filed charges against Dizon-Cabrera, and two other suspects Cyle Cedric Bonifacio and Melvin Polo Gutierrez before the Mandaluyong prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.

They were charged with estafa, violation of the Anti-Red Tape Act and the Anti-Cybercrime Prevention Act in connection with the controversial vaccine slot for sale scheme.

This was also indicated in a press release by the PNP. 

‘Baffled’

Reports about the charges immediately reached the whistleblower Dizon-Cabrera.

“Wait. Bat ako yung nagbenta bigla? Ako nga yung binentahan at ako ang nagpost? Hold on,” she asked on Twitter.

Dizon-Cabrera later issued a statement where she questioned the police for the complaint filed against her.

“I have read the article. I am completely baffled as to why I am being dragged into this scheme when in fact, I exposed this exact scam on my Twitter account last May 21, 2021,” the entrepreneur said.

“As of writing, I have yet to receive anything from the complainant’s end, but I am already in communication with my lawyer regarding this matter. The truth, as always, shall prevail,” she added.

‘Vaccine slot for sale’

In her recent interview, the makeup brand owner recalled that she encountered “vaccine slot for sale” on Instagram after looking for COVID-19 vaccines for her employees.

“I was really looking to buy vaccines for my employees. So, I saw an Instagram story post wherein someone said ‘vaccine for sale.’ I proceeded to reply to that story. That’s where all the conversation began. I posted it (conversation on alleged illegal sale of vaccine slots) myself. Why would I expose myself?” Dizon-Cabrera said.

It was last May 21 when Dizon-Cabrera first posted a screenshot of an exchange she had with an online seller of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines or CoronaVac.

Based on the screenshots, the seller claimed to have connections in the local government units of San Juan and Mandaluyong cities.

“Saw someone offering vaccines and asked my admin to inquire and just found out that they’re selling vaccine slots from LGUs? WTH? Why are people still capitalizing on this?!” Dizon-Cabrera said.

In a separate tweet, Dizon-Cabrera shared a screenshot of her exchange with the seller who turned out to be selling vaccine slots for Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

In the tweet, Dizon-Cabrera clarified that she did not have any transaction with the seller.

“I already sent this to the LGU that reached out to me so they can investigate,” the entrepreneur said.

“And no, we did not push through with the transaction. I’m not saying this is confirmed, I’m just sharing a sketchy conversation I had with someone who is apparently selling ‘slots’,” she added.

In her recent posts, Dizon-Cabrera quote-retweeted these earlier posts as she tried to clear her name following the complaints filed against her.

“I even made sure to get all initial information. This is the conversation between me and the person who posted the for sale post. I even called the seller out when I found out she was selling slots,” she said.