By Hannah L. Torregoza
Sen. Richard J. Gordon yesterday released the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee draft report that found former President Benigno S. Aquino III, former Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, and former Health Secretary Janette L. Garin criminally liable for causing damage and possible deaths in the government’s anti-dengue program.
Gordon, chairperson of the committee, said the panel found Aquino guilty of malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance when he approved the procurement of R3.5-billion worth of Dengvaxia vaccines in 2015 after meeting with executives of manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur.
The report would be routed for signature among members of the committee and the Senate Health and Demography Committee, which jointly conducted the probe on the Dengvaxia mess, before it is submitted for plenary deliberations.
Gordon said Aquino, Garin, Abad, and other officials are primary conspirators and must be held criminally liable and must be prosecuted for all the tragedy, damage, and possible deaths resulting from the Dengvaxia mass vaccination program.
“Garin, et al., could not possibly have been able to release money through a Special Allotment Release Order and Notice of Cash Allocation without the participation and approval of President Aquino and Secretary Abad who realigned the savings from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund and committed technical malversation for programming funding to an activity that was not appropriated a budget by Congress,” Gordon said.
“To get a SARO from savings of this magnitude of P3.5-billion leaves no doubt that it can only be done with the President’s knowledge and approval,” said Gordon.
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