By Macon Araneta i FilAm Star Correspondent
Sen. Richard Gordon expressed dismay over the Department of Justice’s failure to include former President Benigno ”Noynoy” Aquino III and former Budget Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad in the criminal charges to be filed by the Department of Justice in connection with the PHP 3.5-billion Dengvaxia mess.
He said Aquino and Abad should be charged for culpability over the rush in the purchase of a potentially harmful vaccine to be given to about a million children.
“I am disappointed because there is a need to thoroughly look in the involvement nina Aquino at former Budget Sec. Florencio Abad because they hastened the release for the procurement of Dengvaxia,” said Gordon.
Moreover, he said that the public must know how the purchase was done and who were behind it.
“So that the public will be satisfied. So that they will know where the problem started, kung saan ang DoH parang nasapawan ng malaking kumpanya at pinilit bumili ng PHP 3.5B para magamit sa Dengvaxia na ginawa tayong guinea pig.”
“Former President Aquino talked to Sanofi to hasten the purchase transaction,” said Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee which investigated the issue.
In less than 30 days, he said there was already a SARO (Special Allotment Release Order) with the help of Abad.
“Si dating Health Sec. Janette Garin sunod-sunuran lang siya sa mga boss niya,” Gordon added.
He insisted that Aquino and Abad should be charged just like former Health Sec. Janette Garin.
Earlier, Gordon said he was disappointed by the DoJ resolution finding probable cause to indict Garin and several others for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide in connection with the deaths of eight children allegedly due to the controversial dengue vaccine.
“Quite frankly, I am a bit disappointed because I figured na dapat tingnan maigi ang involvement ni (former) President Aquino, nila Abad and company because sila ang nag-re-visit,” Gordon said.
The recent resolution of the investigating prosecutors of the Department of Justice found probable cause to indict only former Health Sec. Janette Garin and 19 others for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide in connection with the deaths of eight children allegedly due to the Dengvaxia vaccine.
Gordon said, “Even a simple man can understand that the procurement was supply driven instead of needs driven.”
After conducting an investigation into the anomalous procurement of the vaccine that caused one of the country’s worst medical nightmares, Gordon pointed out that they have recommended the filing of charges of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and illegal procurement.
He said the DoJ should take a second look at the pieces of evidence they forwarded — illegal procurement and violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act.
“Dengue is not one of the top 10 causes of mortality and not even included in the Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI). It was more than half of the EPI’s budget allocation.”
“They did not exert extraordinary diligence in procuring a vaccine that was still undergoing testing and proceeding to administer it on a wide scale program, which was haphazardly implemented, at that. Dengvaxia may not have killed but it gave immunization a bad name which led to the measles outbreak and deaths we are having now,” he added.