By Czarina Nicole O. Ong and Jeffrey G. Damicog
Former President Benigno C. Aquino III is facing another complaint of plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to the government’s procurement of the P3.5-billion anti-dengue fever vaccine Dengvaxia from Sanofi Pasteur.
The complaint was filed by Atty. Ferdinand Topacio and Diego Magpantay, National President of the Citizens Crime Watch Association, Inc. (CCW), on Thursday morning.
Aside from plunder, the complainants want Aquino to face charges of graft and malversation as well.
This is the third complaint filed against Aquino before the Office of the Ombudsman concerning the Dengvaxia issue.
Former Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco Jr. filed a plunder complaint last December 15 against Aquino and Garin, while graft raps against Aquino, Garin, Ochoa and Abad were filed on December 22 by members of Gabriela together with parents of children vaccinated with Dengvaxia.
Included in the latest complaint are former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad, former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Garin, and 18 other DOH officials.
Aquino and his men were accused of turning a blind eye towards the “serious concerns” raised by several doctors, scientists and public health advocates about Dengvaxia’s safety and efficacy prior to the launch of the anti-dengue mass vaccination program.
Meantime, another criminal complaint was also filed yesterday before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against former Health Secretary Janette Garin and 36 others over the death of three more children who received the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.