Press Release
April 12, 2018

Senator JV Ejercito on the Draft Blue Ribbon Report on Dengvaxia

As chair of the Committee in Health, more than the hasty procurement, the bigger concern for me caused by the Dengvaxia fiasco is the health and future of the 830k children inoculated with the vaccine.

I believe that while former President Benigno Aquino III is guilty of negligence for not exercising due diligence, it is his two Cabinet members who should be primarily held liable for the Dengvaxia mess that has endangered the lives of almost 1 million children.

PNoy should have exercised more prudence and oversight instead of allowing Garin and Abad to proceed with the purchase of the controversial vaccine. That is a failure of leadership that should hound his conscience and legacy.

But the Senate hearings have shown that former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Garin and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad are the principal conspirators in the anomalous procurement and questionable implementation of the vaccine.

Sec. Garin was the one who recommended the purchase of the P3.5 billion untested vaccine. The purchase was pushed despite the fact that the clinical trials were not yet finished and ignored the warnings by some experts as to its dangers.

Sec. Abad, on the other hand, facilitated, recommended, and approved the release of the money without congressional approval in amazing record time, and during a holiday period at that!

In addition, I am calling on our government to help our people to initiate a class suit against Sanofi. Legal action should also be taken by the Philippine government against SANOFI towards the establishment of an indemnity fund for children who were vaccinated to provide them with financial assistance for medical care throughout their lifetimes.

We need to do more to provide assistance to the victims. That is why I filed the Dengvaxia Assistance Program Bill so we can monitor and address the needs of those victimized by this scandal. The hearings also revealed the need to provide for an FDA independent of, and autonomous from, the DOH. This is the purpose of Senate Bill No. 1631 which I filed.

Filing of charges will give chance for all the accused to air their side and defend themselves in court.

News Latest News Feed