De Lima: Raps mulled vs ex-President Aquino, others ‘politically-motivated’
MANILA, Philippines — The recommendation of a House of Representative panel to file criminal and administrative charges against former President Benigno Aquino III and several others over the botched Dengvaxia vaccination program is “politically-motivated,” detained Senator Leila de Lima said on Friday.
In a dispatch from Camp Crame in Quezon City, De Lima said the chamber’s move is questionable “because the previous panel chair found no basis for such a recommendation.”
“It is only now under the leadership of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that the House panel found the former administration officials liable. Evidently, this move of the House panel is politically-motivated,” she said.
The House Committees on Health and Good Government recommended on Wednesday to file charges against Aquino, former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, former Health Secretary Janette Garin, and several other officials over the controversial program.
The opposition senator said it is “highly ironic” this report came at a time when there is a health crisis as the Department of Health (DOH) recently declared a measles outbreak in the Metro Manila and several other regions.
“It is highly ironic that this report comes out at a time when a health crisis is in the offing due to the Dengvaxia scare instigated by PAO [Public Attorney’s Office] Chief Persida Acosta and Duterte’s social media minions,” she said.
The measles outbreak, De Lima said, was preventable by vaccination but “many did not avail of because of the panic created in her effort to pin down previous administration officials for supposed deaths caused by Dengvaxia.”
“All this was sacrificed in Acosta’s hope of endearing herself to Duterte by delivering PNoy’s (ex-President Benigno Aquino III) and the other’s heads in a silver platter,” the opposition senator added.
De Lima said she hopes that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Ombudsman, where the cases have been filed, “would not be swayed by political pressure in resolving these cases.” /muf
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