UST Hospital (photo from The Varsitarian)

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Hospital will be filing criminal and civil cases against a social media user who accused the medical institution of selling donated personal protective equipment (PPE) for profit.

Hannah Go, the netizen who made the controversial Facebook post, has already apologized on Facebook and admitted that she lacked verified information before posting her accusations against the UST Hospital.

“As my source has refused to divulge more information or details, and I have been contacted by a handful of doctors who says [sic] that there is no truth/confirmation regarding what I’ve said, I am issuing a retraction and a public apology to UST Hospital for posting something that could not be verified,” she said.

“[I] am clearly not a journalist and do not have the necessary training to handle this kind of information. I have only shared out of anger at hearing this sort of injustice happening,” she added.

Go deactivated her Facebook account right after posting her public apology.

However, the hospital management said the case will push through because the apology was “inadequate to repair the damage caused to its good name and reputation.”

“We would like to assure our donors and the public that all donations given to the hospital are properly accounted for, duly audited and distributed accordingly.  There is NO truth whatsoever to the circulating fake news that the hospital is “selling” face shields or PPEs donated to it,” the UST Hospital’s advisory said.

“To likewise deter irresponsible persons from spreading false and libelous information, most especially during crisis situations, the hospital will be pursuing appropriate legal actions against Ms. Go once the Covid-19 pandemic is resolved,” the statement added.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved and signed into law Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act” on March 23 as the nation’s response to beat the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Under the said law, people who create, perpetrate, or spread false information on the Covid-19 crisis will face two months in jail and/or a fine of up to P1 million.  (RJ Espartinez)