Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon expects “major, major” graft cases to be filed against top officials of the Aquino administration for the undue haste in approving and bankrolling the P3.5-billion dengue vaccine just months before the 2016 elections.
Gordon claimed that based on the circumstances that led to the acquisition of the vaccine from France-based Sanofi Pasteur, the program was used to advance the interests of the administration in the 2016 polls.
“Isa pa yan. Isipin na lang natin ito, bakit Abril na nag-iineksyon pa kayo? Bakasyon na, wala ng pasok yung mga bata. Dapat pasukan (yung immunization) para ma-monitor mo (those who were administered the vaccines). Pero talagang minamadali nila para masabi na nagawa nila yung tungkulin nila pero there was no necessity,” he said.
“Ito hindi naka-program. Wala sa GAA (General Appropriations Act), pinasok lang talaga and that is going to be a major, major anti-graft case against them,” Gordon added.
The senator said the transactions for the vaccine started only in Dec. 2015 following a series of meetings between Sanofi executives and Pres. Benigno Aquino III and former Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Janet Garin. He said Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) for the release of the funds for the purchase of the vaccine was released just a few weeks later.
“Maraming lalabas diyan kaya magkakaron ng role ang Ombudsman diyan dahil talagang lalabas at lalabas na minadali at sinamantala nila yung pera na hindi dumaan sa Congress. May undue haste,” Gordon said.
“Dapat the (former) president should not talk with them. Pangalawa wala sa appointment niya ‘yan sa Paris, pumasok na lang bigla tapos nakapag approve agad sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration),” he said.
Gordon also found questionable the role taken by Garin as acting FDA at the time when the vaccine was supposedly approved or endorsed by the agency.
“Pag tiningnan mo yung timeline, dalawang beses nakipag meeting si (former) Pres. Aquino. Yung huling meeting sa Paris, Dec. 1 kasama si Garin uli. Wala pang isang linggo pumayag na ang FDA at ang OIC (officer-in-charge) sa FDA nun si Garin, which is very irregular. Tapos by Dec. 29 nakakuha na sila ng SARO at ito ni-realign nila yung pera na P3.5 billion which is prohibited under the law,” he said.
“Para makakuha ka lang P100 million hirap na hirap ka na sa DBM (Department of Budget and Management). Kailangan malaking tao ang nagsabi sa DBM na sige ibigay nyo na yang P3.5 billion. Hindi gagalaw yun kung walang orders sa pinakamataas,” Gordon added.
Gordon said more cases like negligence, reckless imprudence and even outright homicide, or multiple homicide, could be filed against the previous governments officials especially if the vaccine resulted to deaths.