Aquino tells DOJ: Groups' arguments on Dengvaxia mess 'rehashed'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2018 07:03 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2018 07:12 PM

Former President Benigno Aquino III appears at the Senate hearing on his administration's procurement of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine Thursday, 14 December 2017. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III said Tuesday that arguments made by groups that filed a criminal complaint against him over his administration's dengue vaccination program are simply "rehashed."

Aquino made the claim in his 15-page rejoinder affidavit which he submitted to the Department of Justice on Tuesday in connection with the complaint filed against him by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), and the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc.

The complaint accused Aquino of criminal negligence and reckless imprudence, technical malversation, causing undue injuries, and violations of the procurement law.

The groups filed the complaint in light of alleged deaths of several children who received the vaccine, and the alleged use of pooled savings in 2015 for a project not specified in the national budget.

Aquino, in his rejoinder affidavit, maintained that funds used for the vaccines were unused and considered as savings. He said the dengue immunization drive was “valid” and “legal." 

The procurement of the world-first Dengvaxia dengue vaccine, he added, was above board. 

Some 830,000 public school children have received the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia before the Department of Health stopped the immunization program late last year.

The order came after French drug maker Sanofi said the vaccine might increase the risk of severe dengue in recipients who have not had the mosquito-borne illness. 

-report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News