FILE PHOTO: Former President Benigno Aquino III
MANILA, Philippines – Former government officials maintained no wrongdoings in relation to the Dengvaxia anomaly.
During the preliminary investigation of the Department of Justice Monday, June 4, former President Benigno Aquino III. former Health Secretary Janette Garin and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad personally submitted their counter affidavits on the controversial P3.5 billion pesos worth of Dengvaxia immunization program.
Aquino, Garin, and Abad are facing complaints filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution (VPC.)
Aquino stressed there were no categorical findings directly linking Dengvaxia as the cause of death of some vaccinees.
‘Iyong mga may threat supposed to be ng mga may severe dengue, is anywhere from 0.2-10 percent, so iyong proteksyon for the 90 (percent) and more, should be avoided,” explained Aquino.
He also addressed the issue on the questionable procurement of the said vaccines which allegedly coincided with the election ban in 2016.
“Kapag dumating iyong election campaign, election ban which was March 26 to May 9. Anyway…Siguro Iyong last na action na sinasabi natin na kaugnay sa..Siguro iyong pag-execute ng disbursement order which happened March 9. So March 9 and March 26.Medyo magkalayo,” he argued.
Garin, meanwhile, emphasized that the confirmation of the deaths of children who were autopsied failed to follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines.
“Sa pag-determine ng causality kung ito ba ay namatay sa bakuna o hindi—may proseso na sinusunod ang WHO hindi po ine-exhume o ino-autopsy ang pasyente,” Garin said.
The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), which conducted the autopsies, lashed out at Garin
“WHO rin ang basis naming sa determination ng cause of death. May WHO materials din ang PAO,” Acosta defended.
The next hearing will be on June 22. – Mai Bermudez