DAVAO CITY – The manufacturer of the alleged ‘poisonous’ durian candies which downed more than 1,000 people in Caraga region was temporarily closed Monday morning.
Wendy’s Delicious Durian Candy, which was said to be the maker of the poisonous candies, was declared closed by the authorities while an investigation is going on.
The authorities also found out that the business has been operating without a permit from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Department of Health (DOH).
Janet Aquino, owner of JJCM Food Product, said they have voluntarily stopped the production of their durian, mangosteen, and mango candies after hearing the issue.
She said that she has requested her staff to hold the remaining stocks which will be used for the laboratory analysis.
Aquino also said that they have been operating for five years and this is the first time that they were accused of food poisoning.
She said she suspects that the distributors of their products may have repacked the candies into bits to be sold in cheaper price.
She said that a certain John Dequilla is a distributor of their products in Surigao.
She also said that the last delivery to Dequilla was made last July 8 and the products will expire after six months.
Meanwhile, Police Superintendent Martin Gamba, spokesperson of Caraga police, said they have arrested at least 12 people, who reportedly sold durian candies in the region.
Initially arrested during the pursuit operations were Junnil Martinez, John Dequilla Oben, and Joel Paja, all from Calinan, Davao City.
During the follow up operations, the police arrested Richard Rivera Jr., and Martinez Bocaycay, both residents of Calinan.
A white Mitsubishi L-300 FB Deluxe with license plates MEM366 and registered under the name of Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ based in Davao was also seized.
They have also arrested Genelyn Pasa, a resident of Bucana and Henry Amoguis, a resident of Valencia City, Bukidnon, who were caught selling the candies at the premises of Special Education Elementary School in Tandag City.
Gamba, however, did not disclose the names of other apprehended suspects, who are now in the custody of various police units in the region.
As of 11:00 PM of Saturday, the DOH has already recorded a total of 1,909 people, who fell ill after eating the candies.
The victims, mostly students, are coming from the towns of Tago, Cagwait, Marihatag, B ayabas and the city of Tandag.(davaotoday.com)