Aquino, Abad, Garin ‘caused’ Dengvaxia ‘tragedy’ – draft report
A draft report of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is recommending the prosecution of former President Benigno Aquino III and other former government officials “for all the tragedy, damage and possible deaths” resulting from the Dengvaxia mass vaccination program.
A 20-page draft report was presented by committee chair, Senate Richard Gordon, during a weekly forum in the Senate on Wednesday and was later furnished to reporters.
“Aquino, Garin, Abad and other officials are primary conspirators and must be held criminally liable because as succinctly put by the Old Spanish legal maxim ‘El que es causa dela causa, es causa del mal causado’- he who is the cause of the case, is the cause of the evil caused—- and must be prosecuted for all the tragedy, damage and possible deaths” resulting from the Dengvaxia mass vaccination program,” Gordon said, reading from the draft report.
The senator was referring to former Health Secretary Janette Garin and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
Aquino, Garin, Abad and other officials should be charged for violating among others the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and against Dr. Julius Lecciones of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, the draft report said.
The government, it said, purchased the vaccine “in undue haste,” with the approval of Aquino through Abad and Garin and other health officials despite objections of local and international experts from the academe and practitioners, who feared that a subsequent infection after vaccination could bring about severe dengue.
“The purchase was also done without adequate research on the background and track record of the supplier, Sanofi-Pasteur,” it said.
It was during the time of Aquino when Dengvaxia was purchased and first injected to about 830,000 children from March 2016 to June 2016 .
“Aquino is responsible because he had caused the purchase of Dengvaxia and in the process caused irreversible damage, possibly death to children; anxiety, sleepless nights, mental anguish and unnecessary expense on the part of parents and guardians,” the draft report said.
“He was the one who decided to buy it. They spent P3.5 billion of taxpayers’ money to buy a largely untested drug against one disease. A discerning and well-intentioned leader would have exercised greater caution and paused considering the cost (P3.5 billion) for only one vaccine.”
Gordon’s draft report also recommended the filing of case — violations of provisions of the Civil Code on Quasi-delicts — against Sanofi for “having sold a defective product, endangering , hurting and may be even killing children who were injected with Dengvaxia.”
“Criminal cases against the company’s officers and employees must also be considered insofar as this fiasco is concerned as well as possible co-principal participation in criminal violations of the above-mentioned public officers,” it said.
Gordon though clarified that he had yet to submit the draft report to committee members for signature before presenting it to the plenary for approval. /cbb
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