Senate report on Dengvaxia mess to be given much weight: Palace

MANILA Malacanang on Thursday said the executive branch will give the Senate committee draft report on Dengvaxia mess much weight when it decides on the next course of action on the controversial dengue vaccination program of the Aquino administration.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this reaction after the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee draft report found former President Benigno Aquino III, former Health Secretary Janette Gain and former Budget Secretary Florencio 'Butch' Abad criminally liable for the procurement of Php3.5 billion worth of dengue vaccine.

That's a report created by a powerful committee of a co-equal branch of government that will be given much weight by the Executive when it decides its next course of action on the issue, Roque said in a press statement.

Roque said President Rodrigo R. Duterte is still awaiting the report of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the matter.

The report of the blue ribbon panel chaired by Senator Richard Gordon also found that the procurement of Dengvaxia was done with undue haste.

Gordon said the purchase was railroaded considering that Congress did not appropriate budget for the vaccination program and it was done with only few months before the 2010 national elections.

The senator recommended that graft cases be filed against officials who were responsible in the controversial dengue vaccine program.

Aside from NBI and the Senate, the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) has also been conducting its own probe on the Dengvaxia case, particularly on the deaths of children who may have died following Dengvaxia immunization.

More than 800,000 children have been given Dengvaxia dengue vaccine.

Source: Philippine News Agency