Most senators who signed report on Dengvaxia against suing Aquino
Majority of senators who signed a draft report of the Senate blue ribbon committee are against its recommendation to sue former President Benigno Aquino over the Dengvaxia controversy, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said on Wednesday.
Recto said he also signed the draft report but dissented on the findings against Aquino. He was the 10th senator to sign the committee’s findings.
“Yes I did sign [the draft[ report,” he said in a text message.
Recto said he concurred with “moving forward initiatives” in the draft report, like helping the affected children and the filing of charges against French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
“I agree with many of its recommendations on moving forward,” Recto said. “But I dissent on recommended liability of President Aquino.”
Recto said he would also propose other recommendations once the draft report had been transmitted to the plenary for deliberations.
Asked if he would push on the floor for an amendment on the proposed charges against Aquino, the senator answered yes.
“My count is that a majority of those who signed do not agree with the recommendation to charge PNoy [Aquino]. But like me, (I) cannot disregard the valid recommendations moving forward initiatives,” he said.
Aside from Recto, nine other senators have also signed the draft report, Sen. Richard Gordon, the chairman of the blue ribbon committee.
The others who have signed the reports are Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Sens. Gregorio Honasan, Juan Miguel Zubiri, JV Ejercito, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Sherwin Gatchalian and Manny Pacquiao.
But like Recto, Poe and Gatchalian also signed with reservations.
In fact, Gatchalian said he might also push for an amendment of the proposed recommendations against the former chief executive – such as the filing of graft case for allowing the Dengvaxia vaccine, which cost the government P3.5 billion, to be administered during his term.
Ejercito said he believed Aquino should be held “accountable because of command responsibility and negligence. He said he did not believe that the former leader was involved in graft and corruption.
“Nonetheless, the court will be the proper forum to defend themselves,” Ejercito said in a separate message. “That’s why I signed the report to once and for all remove the doubts on my position.” /atm
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