Complaint filed vs. Aquino, Abad and Garin over violation of Election Law for Dengue Vaccine Program

Complaint vs Former President Noynoy Aquino (CTTO)

Fresh News: On Friday, February 2, 2018, a former advisor of the Department of Health (DOH) and an anti-corruption group, asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate Ex-President Benigno Aquino III and a few previous and current government officials for executing the P3.5-billion dengue antibody program at the tallness of the 2016 decision battle.

With the Comelec Legal Department, a complaint was filed by Dr. Francis Cruz and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), charging Noynoy Aquino, former Budget secretary Florencio Abad, former Health secretary Janette Garin, and a few DOH authorities of abusing Section 261 (o) and (v) of Batas Pambansa 881 (Omnibus Election Code).

Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino (CTTO)

Section 261 disallows the discharge and utilization of government funds for poll campaign inside 45 days before a regular election or 30 days before a special election and any individual discovered liable of any decision offense under BP 881 would be punished with detainment of one to six years, exclusion to hold public office, and denial of the privilege to vote.

The complaint stated that Aquino III, Abad and Garin had caused the discharges, payment or consumptions of over P3.5 billion out in the public finances regarding the acquirement of the Dengvaxia vaccine and that other DOH officials are at risk for being included, straightforwardly or by implication, in the first round of execution of the Dengue Immunization Program on 2016 or amid the election ban.

Aquino III, Abad and Garin had caused the releases, disbursements or expenditures of over P3.5 billion in public funds in connection with the procurement of the Dengvaxia vaccine and implementation of the School-Based Immunization of Tetravalent Dengue Vaccine of the Department of Health (or Dengue Immunization Program) in the National Capital Region (NCR), Calabarzon and Central Luzon during 45 days before the May 2016 elections, contrary to Section 261 (v), B.P. Blg. 881, otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code,” the complaint stated.

In the case of other DOH officials, they are liable for being involved, directly or indirectly, in the first round of implementation of the Dengue Immunization Program on April 4, 2016 or during the election ban,” it added.

The complaint also includes that public funds were utilized for divided political action of Aquino's previous ruling Liberal Party and said that other DOH officials disregarded Section 261 (v), (o) for being a part of the intrigue or scheme.

"In order to further the candidacies of his partymates, especially those vying for the presidential, vice-presidential and senatorial post, or otherwise influence or entice the voters to throw their support or vote for the candidates for president, vice-president and senator of his party in the May 2016 elections.” it said.

As for the other DOH officials, they violated sec. 261 (v), (o) for being part of the cabal or conspiracy,” the complaint stated.

Meanwhile, Garin said she respected the case, saying it will give her a "platform to present the truth", and said that the vaccination program was never utilized for government issues and that people in DOH worked and conveyed, proportionate to what is anticipated from any administration representative or authority.

Janette Garin (CTTO)

The immunization program was never used for politics. We in DOH worked and delivered, commensurate to what is expected of any government employee or official,” Garin said.

On the other note, Abad told that he has not yet taken a look at the complaint even as he guaranteed that the administration had contemplated the election ban when they discharged allocations and dispensed assets for the venture.

Florencio Abad (CTTO)

"The government took into consideration the election ban when we released allotments and disbursed funds for the project.” he said.

In addition, DOH already ceased the government's dengue vaccination program last December 1 following the affirmation of immunization creator Sanofi Pasteur that the utilization of Dengvaxia must be entirely constrained because of confirmation it can intensify the ailment in individuals who have not beforehand been exposed to dengue.

Succeeding the suspension, the DOH said it would assess the dengue immunization program and is presently working in close coordination with the Department of Education to screen the numbers of students who have been directed with thee world's first dengue antibody, the Dengvaxia.

As indicated by the DOH, more than 830,000 children, from public schools in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Cebu, aged nine or above were vaccinated with Dengvaxia since it was propelled.


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