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Complex case

by Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate

(Continuation)

The issue on the full-scale or small-scale implementation of the Dengvaxia immunization program of the government is now water under the bridge but there is still a need to dig deeper into the matter because it is linked to the corruption angle of this case.

The timing of the approval and release of funds, approval of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and implementation of what was supposed to be a school-based program during the summer vacation of students are factors that led many to suspect that there was corruption in this program.

We hope that the corruption angle will soon be clarified.

It is also not fair for the officials of the Aquino Administration to be “convicted” right away. What is in the best interest of all concerned, including the Filipino people is to know the truth.

Given the principle that any person should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, establishing the truth about the corruption allegations should start from the assumption that concerned government officials acted in good faith and they had the interest of the Filipino people as the sole anchor of their decisions and actions.

From such starting point, proofs must be presented against such presumption.

There are many questions that need to be answered regarding this matter and answers and challenges to such answers should also be based on facts – all information should be supported by evidence.

Where did the R3.5 billion budget for the Dengvaxia sourced considering that it was not provided for in the National Budget? What program of government was sacrificed to fund the purchase of the vaccine? Was such sacrificed program of lesser value than providing for the health of Filipinos, particularly our children?

Was it really out of the ordinary course of things for the Food and Drug Administration to approve the use of Dengvaxia in such a short period? Was it also out of the ordinary for the funds to be released that soon?

Was there really a need for the immediate immunization? What would be at risk if the actual program implementation was done after the opening of the school year instead of during the children’s summer vacation?

What was the prevailing market price of Dengvaxia during that time? Was the one thousand-peso price more than the prevailing market price? What’s the basis of those who claim that the purchase was a clear case of overpricing?

Answer to these and other similar questions need to be supported by facts and evidences. The current Administration should not stop until the allegations of corruption regarding this case are proven or disproven.

(To be concluded)

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