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‘Di naniniwala! Ejercito eyes dropping graft raps vs Noy in Dengvaxia report

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by Xave Gregorio

Senator JV Ejercito vowed to introduce an amendment to drop the recommended graft charge against former President Noynoy Aquino in the draft Senate Blue Ribbon committee report on the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.

“Hindi ako fan ni President Aquino, lagi kaming magkaibang bakod sa politika, kaya lang hindi ako naniniwala na he will be involved in any graft and corruption,” Ejercito said in a radio interview on DWIZ.

The draft Blue Ribbon committee report, released by its chair Senator Dick Gordon without signatures from his colleagues, recommended that Aquino, along with former Health Secretary Janette Garin, former Budget Secretary Butch Abad and Dr. Julius Lecciones of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center be charged with graft for entering into a supposedly disadvantageous contract.

Ejercito, who chairs the Senate health committee, said the recommended graft charge under Section 3(g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Aquino is the only thing he disagrees with in the report, which he already signed, along with Senators Gordon ang Migz Zubiri.

He shares the same view of Senators Ping Lacson and Bam Aquino, who also doubt the proposed graft charge against the former president.

Despite already signing the report, Ejercito said he would still be introducing amendments to it, including removing the recommendation of charging Aquino for graft.

Zubiri, in a separate interview on DWIZ, clarified that signing a report does not necessarily mean agreeing to it.

“Pwede ka namang pumirma na we’ll interpellate o with reservations,” he said, adding that he would still be interpellating Gordon on how he was able to reach his conclusion in his report.

However, Aquino is not completely off the hook, as he believes the former president is still liable “because of negligence and command responsibility.”