At least 10 senators committed to sign Senate panel report on Dengvaxia — Gordon

Published April 15, 2018, 4:57 PM

by iManila Developer

By Hannah Torregoza

At least 10 senators have signified their commitment to sign the Senate blue ribbon committee report on the botched P3.5-billion anti-dengue program that was launched by the Aquino administration, Sen. Richard Gordon said today.

A national immunization program manager shows an anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia inside a vaccine storage room in Sta. Cruz city, Metro Manila, December 4, 2017. (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Gordon, chair of the blue ribbon committee, said among those who have already signed the report he released last week were Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, head of the Senate health and demography panel, and Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri.

“It’s not a draft report, that’s the chairman’s report and that is final,” Gordon clarified over Radyo DZBB.

“A lot of them (senators) will sign on Monday,” Gordon said.

The senator said he is optimistic that a majority of senators will sign and approve his report.

“Basta ang alam ko may sampu na. Madaling makukuha ang majority sa tingin ko (I know that we have at least 10. I think it’s easy to get a majority)…I’m not worried about the report,” the senator said.

And even though some senators frowned on the committee’s conclusion that former President Aquino III is liable for graft, Gordon insists that the panel’s documentary evidence against him and other officials involved are strong enough to stand for court trial.

“I believe in my heart and in my mind and in my limited knowledge of the law that that can withstand the courts,” he said.

Nevertheless, Gordon said he is standing pat on his report but said he does not wish that the former be jailed for his supposed role in approving the Dengvaxia deal with Sanofi-Pasteur.

Gordon pointed out that no Philippine leader has so far been held completely liable for their misdemeanors during their administration.

“Until now, we really haven’t seen any leader being held accountable,” he said.

“I don’t want to wish Noynoy to be jailed. That’s why I didn’t go for plunder. I have no evidence he pocketed P50 million. But anti-graft–I have evidence. That’s one to 10 years of imprisonment,” Gordon said.

In his report, Gordon held Aquino, former health secretary Janette Garin, and former budget chief Florencio “Butch” Abad as the main conspirators in the controversial dengue vaccination program.

Gordon stressed that even though Aquino did not pocket money from the Dengvaxia program, his actions still suggest that he committed graft and corruption.

“First, he encouraged his people to do it. He must not have shown he favored them (Sanofi). You met with them, of course your people will follow. Then you approved the release of money,” he stressed.