Graft charges sought vs. Noynoy, former officials over Dengvaxia fiasco
Marje Pelayo • February 6, 2019 • 2325
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability on Wednesday (February 6) recommended the filing of graft charges, technical malversation and grave misconduct against former president Benigno Aquino III for allowing the use of Dengvaxia in government immunization programs that allegedly caused the death of several children.
Also implicated were former Budget Secretary Florencio ‘Butch’ Abad and former health Secretary Janette Garin.
Based on the approved committee report, the three were among other government officials who conspired to procure the controversial anti-dengue vaccine despite lack of certificate of product registration and safety assurance from authorizing bodies.
House committee chair Rep. Xavier Romualdez argued that Aquino violated the law when he allowed the use of P3.5 billion in public funds to procure Dengvaxia vaccines in 2015.
Meanwhile, Dinagat Island Rep. Kaka Bag-Ao questioned the committee’s recommendation arguing that the House inquiry has not established proof that the said officials’ actions indeed violated the law.
But Romualdez stood by the House committee’s report.
Several congressmen proposed charges against the executives of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur as well as former health Secretary Paulyn Ubial.
The UNTV News Team has sought the statement of those involved such as Aquino, Garin and Abad but to no avail.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), meanwhile, is now probing the complaints filed by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) in relation to the deaths of 30 children being linked to the Dengvaxia immunization. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)
“The vaccines that we are mentioning is not a solution or a silver bullet for the ongoing outbreak. We are open to any discussion with the health authorities to see what is needed, what do they need for the future,” Zinsou said.
In February this year, the FDA revoked the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia.
Sanofi already filed an appeal two weeks ago and the DOH will release their decision on the issue on August 19.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
The Department of Health (DOH) has belied the accusation made by families of Dengvaxia vaccinees that they received a P50,000 bribe from the department.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III clarified that the P50,000 financial assistance did not come from the DOH.
“Iyang ayuda na iyan galing iyan sa Office of the President so hindi iyan galing sa DOH. Ito lamang ay dahil sa malasakit ng Pangulong Duterte para sa mga magulang na namatayan at gumastos para sa kanilang wake at paglibing at mga iba pang mga gastusin (That assistance came from the Office of the President, not the DOH. It was borne out of President Duterte’sconcern for the parents of alleged Dengvaxia victims who had to pay for the wake, burial and other expenses),” he said.
This was after reports that several families of the Dengvaxia vaccinees are accusing the DOH of bribery after the department has offered them P50,000 financial assistance.
Several of them said they were asked to submit original documents and other information. They think these would be used as evidence in order to bring back the use of Dengvaxia amid the rise of dengue cases.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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