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Gordon: 10 senators to sign committee report on Dengvaxia probe

Sen. Richard Gordon. INQUIRER.net PHOTO/CATHY MIRANDA

Sen. Richard Gordon on Sunday said he expected at least 10 senators to sign his 17-member Senate blue ribbon committee report holding liable former President Benigno Aquino III and his officials for the dengue vaccine controversy and recommending the filing of graft charges against them.

Gordon said at least four senators had signed his committee report — Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Sen. JV Ejercito, Sen. Gregorio Honasan II and Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri.

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‘Won’t preempt them’

Gordon, who chairs the Senate blue ribbon committee that investigated the Dengvaxia controversy, said Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto had committed to sign the report on Monday.

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“I believe so [the commitment of 10 senators to sign the report]. I do not want to preempt them,” he said in a radio interview.

Two other committee members, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Antonio Trillanes IV, had disagreed with the recommendation of Gordon to have Aquino charged for graft.

So far, Trillanes had said he would not sign the report and reiterated on Sunday his belief that the Senate would not adopt the report when it reached the floor.

Aquino, Garin, Abad

Gordon released last week his committee report that concluded that Aquino had conspired with former Health Secretary Janette Garin and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in procuring Dengvaxia, as well as implementing the mass immunization of 870,000 children on a vaccine later found by its maker, Sanofi Pasteur, as possibly causing serious illness to those who received it without prior dengue infection.

The senator recommended the filing of charges in violation of the antigraft and corruption law, and the code of conduct and ethical standards of public officials against three top officials and seven Department of Health officers.

He also recommended that charges be filed against the French pharmaceutical giant.

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Other views

On a radio program on Sunday, Gordon said he respected the views of Lacson and Trillanes on the recommendations he made, particularly on Aquino.

But while he called Lacson a friend, the senator also cited the latter’s friendship with Aquino, noting that when Lacson went into hiding during the time of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he only surfaced during the Aquino administration in 2010.

He also said Aquino had appointed Lacson to head the rehabilitation of areas destroyed by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in 2013.

Trillanes, on the other hand, was aligned with Aquino, he said.

On the same radio program, Trillanes said Gordon had to find a majority of senators to sign his report before he could report it out on the floor.

But he believed that come interpellation time, Gordon would not be able to defend his conclusions.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Dengue Vaccine, Dengvaxia, Gregorio Honasan II, Juan Miguel Zubiri, JV Ejercito, Richard Gordon, Vicente Sotto III
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