Sen. Gordon to Investigate Aquino Admin's Acquisition of P3.5 Billion Dengue Vaccines
One of the country's most prominent senator, Sen. Richard Gordon, the chairman of the powerful Blue Ribbon Committee of the Philippine Senate wants to investigate the Aquino administration for the anomalous acquisition of P3.5 billion worth of dengue vaccines during the term of Pres. Aquino.
Sen. Gordon questioned the acquisition of the Aquino admin of the controversial billion peso worth of vaccines, saying that the speed with which the deal was approved suggested the money was used for the elections instead.
The Senator from Olongapo City discovered that while there is no appropriation for the purchase, funds were immediately made available toward the end of the Aquino admin.
In an interview with the Manila Standard, Sen. Dick Gordon was quoted as saying "We're talking here about a huge amount - a whooping P3.5 billion." "We ought to know no untoward incident occurred when they were wooing the former President. I'll give you the timeline, which was fast," the senator revealed.
According to Sen. Gordon on December 2 there was a meeting in Paris; by December 22, there was the approval by the FDA. By December 29, we already had a Saro (Special Allotment Release Order) for P3.5 billion as revealed by the senator to the media.
The senator wanted to investigate the Aquino admin and noted further that the P3.5 billion spent on dengue vaccine alone was the same as the amounts spent on the expanded immunization program that covered seven ailments.
Anthony Leachon, an independent health advocate and member of the Dengue Expert Panel convened by the DoH, also questioned how a P3.5-billion fund was allocated for a single vaccine when the DoH’s entire vaccination program costs P3 billion.