Graft and corruption and violation of the Code of Ethics raps might be filed against former government officials over the Dengvaxia controversy, according to Senate blue ribbon committee chairperson Sen. Richard Gordon. He added that the committee might recommend the filing of charges against former President Benigno Aquino III.

Michael Varcas
Gordon: Aquino may face raps over Dengvaxia fiasco
Gaea Katreena Cabico (philstar.com) - March 14, 2018 - 10:29am
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate blue ribbon committee might recommend the filing of charges against former President Benigno Aquino III for his involvement in the government’s botched dengue vaccination program. 
 
“Yes. Definitely,” the panel chairperson Sen. Richard Gordon said in an interview on ANC’s “Headstart.”
 
Gordon said that former Department of Health Secretary Janette Garin and former Department of Budget and Management Florencio Abad might also face criminal charges for their involvement in the anti-dengue program. 
 
Graft and corruption and violation of the Code of Ethics raps might be filed against former government officials. 
 
He added that Dengvaxia manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, would be included in the charges. 
 
Gordon, however, denied that he is after Aquino. 
 
Aquino and Garin also face a mass murder and plunder complaint filed by former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority chief Augusto Syjuco.
 
The Public Attorney’s Office likewise filed a civil case against Garin and other health officials. 

‘Scandalously fast’

Gordon stressed that the procurement of the P3.5-billion worth of vaccines was “scandalously fast” as the usual budget process takes longer. 
 
He noted that the procurement of the deal was hastened when Aquino met with Sanofi executives. 
 
“There was a rush to try and push for this drug [even if dengue] is not even in the top ten killers in the country,” Gordon said. 
 
The former president previously denied Gordon’s accusation that the procurement of the dengue vaccines was rushed. 
 
When he attended the Senate probe into the Dengvaxia mess last year, Aquino said his administration’s decision to procure the dengue vaccines from Sanofi was based on the available information at the time. 
 
“From our perspective, the choice is simple: we can implement it at this point and time for the protection or wait at least a year as a minimum and expose our people to a risk that could have been prevented because of this vaccine,” Aquino said. 
 
DOH ordered the suspension of the vaccination program shortly after Sanofi revealed in November 2017 that Dengvaxia may pose threats to people who had no prior dengue infection. 
 
More than 830,000 children received the vaccines. 

BENIGNO AQUINO III DENGVAXIA CONTROVERSY
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