Ombudsman confirms corruption probe on PAO's Acosta, Erfe


Posted at Aug 16 2019 04:33 PM | Updated as of Aug 16 2019 08:21 PM

MANILA - Ombudsman Samuel Martires on Friday confirmed that his office was investigating allegations of corruption against Public Attorney's Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta and the agency's forensics chief Erwin Erfe. 

This followed a manifestation filed by PAO lawyers alleging irregular transactions relating to Acosta's crusade against the Dengvaxia vaccine. 

PAO has been representing families of children who had allegedly fallen victim to the ill effects of the dengue vaccine, the use of which was halted in 2017 after its maker Sanofi Pasteur warned of risks. 

In the manifestation, PAO lawyers sought the preventive suspension of Acosta and Erfe amid the corruption investigation. 

They alleged that PAO released funds that were "never used for its intended purpose." 

“Respondent Acosta has ordered her cohorts to edit, revise and antedate PAO’s purchase requests, purchase orders, procurement forms, memoranda, and other documentation in order to make it seem legitimate and to justify the diversion of the PAO’s budget to the Dengvaxia victims,” the complaint read. 

Acosta has called the complaint a "demolition job." 

- With reports from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News