Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Files Dengvaxia Report
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired by Senator Richard J. Gordon, filed on Monday the report on its investigation into the Dengvaxia vaccine mess, which placed the lives of more than 830,000 children in danger.
More than the majority of the members of the Blue Ribbon signed Senate Committee Report No. 368. A committee report can only be filed after at least majority of the members of the committee have signed the report.
"More than majority signed the recommendations and we can debate it. I am happy na pag-uusapan sa floor kasi diyan naman talaga dapat mag-debate, hindi naman sa labas. We should debate within the chamber and within the rules," the senator said.
Gordon assured that there was nothing political in the investigation or in the report submitted by the Blue Ribbon.
"Ang aim ng investigation has always been the protection of the children. Kaya tayo nagimbestiga to protect the children and to insulate the DOH (Department of Health) from politics na nakakasama sa kalusugan ng ating bayan. What we are doing here is not political. It is precisely to prevent the DOH from being co-opted again. Hindi natin gustong magdiin pero walang kaduda-duda na may kasalanan ang mga taong gumawa niyan dahil nanakit sila ng mga bata ng walang pakundangan. Walang pakundangang itinaya nila ang buhay ng halos isang milyong mga bata," he said.
One of the recommendations in the report was to provide sufficient budget for monitoring - in particular sero-testing to determine who were previously seronegative - diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of ALL children injected with Dengvaxia. It proposed to authorize the allocation of a portion of the P1.2-billion refunded by Sanofi Pasteur for unused vaccines for such.
In the committee report, the Blue Ribbon found President Benigno Aquino III, former Health Secretary Janette Garin, former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, PCMC Director Julius Lecciones and other officials of the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration liable for violating several sections of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and other laws in connection with the procurement and distribution of the Dengvaxia vaccine.