Senate invites Aquino to dengue vaccine probe

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 12 2017 10:47 PM | Updated as of Dec 12 2017 11:06 PM

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has invited former president Benigno Aquino III to its next hearing on the controversial Dengvaxia dengue vaccine.

Committee chair Senator Richard Gordon said Aquino should explain his administration's role in the procurement of the vaccine.

"There is activity kasi na nakita kay President Aquino, that's why he should explain. Out of my mind, wala bang staff si President Aquino na nagre-research sa Sanofi, na ito pala ay maraming kaso na naglalagay sa ibang bansa para huwag siyang makipagkita," Gordon said.

Gordon said they will respect the former president if he decides to attend the hearing.

"The former president is the former president, and he is a fellow senator and the committee just wants to know what exactly happened because you know, you cannot get that much money without the approval of the president," he said.

The Senate committee also sent invitations to former executive secretary Paquito Ochoa and former budget secretary Butch Abad but the invitations were not received.

"Yung kay Abad, 'di daw nila alam kung saan naroon, they have no knowledge. 'Yung kay former executive secretary (Ochoa), sabi nung guard niya, 'di daw sila pwedeng makapasok. They tried to serve, but they were not received," Gordon added.

The Senate on Monday began its legislative inquiry into the Department of Health's (DOH) purchase of dengue vaccine Dengvaxia that triggered a health scare in the country.

The hearing would focus first on how the dengue vaccine was procured from French drug-maker Sanofi Pasteur, said Senator JV Ejercito, chairman of the committee on Health and Demography. - report from Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News; DZMM