Gordon’s one-man Dengvaxia show won’t get Senate support — senators
The possibility that Sen. Richard Gordon may fail to muster the support of his colleagues for the blue ribbon committee report on the Dengvaxia program is reportedly not remote.
The Gordon report has found former Pres. Benigno Aquino III criminally liable in the government’s acquisition of P3.5-billion worth of anti-dengue vaccines in 2015.
Gordon, sources intimated, has been doing the rounds, over the weekend, calling up and requesting colleagues to affix their signature in the panel report, short of asking them to support the findings and recommendations of the committee.
A senator admitted having the same assertion, that Gordon will not be able to gather the needed nine signatures out of the 17 members.
Under the Rules of the Senate, the signature of majority of the committee members is needed before any panel report can be submitted to the bills and index division and placed in the calendar for floor deliberations.
Apparently, there are those who think that there’s not enough basis to warrant the recommendation against Aquino, that he be made to face graft charges for engaging in a program involving the mass immunization of school children of Dengvaxia vaccine.
“Aquino may be guilty of incompetence but not of committing graft and corruption,” one of the senators said.
The same was echoed by one of those who already signed the report saying that Aquino may have been guilty of only negligence.
“I don’t believe that he will allow himself to be part of any corruption in (the transaction on) Dengvaxia (vaccines),” another senator said.
At least two upper chamber members, Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Panfilo Lacson, who are both blue ribbon committee members, already announced that they will not sign the report.
So far, aside from Gordon, Senators JV Ejercito, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Gregorio Honasan and Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III have already signed the report.
Sen. Nancy Binay also signed the report as a member of the committee on health and demography, the secondary committee, of which she is a member.
Ejercito, who is the chair of the health committee, said he signed the report but will “introduce amendments” to the findings and recommendations.
Binay said the same saying that he affixed her signature but placed a marginal note that she “may amend (and) will interpellate” once the report is placed on the floor for deliberations.
“Kasi para sa akin yung committee report is not yet a final report. I mean pag dedebatihan at pag uusapan pa yan at ide-defend pa yan sa floor. So antayin na lang natin yung magiging deliberations na magaganap,” she said in an interview with reporters.
Asked on her position on the accountability of Aquino, Binay evaded the question saying that the matter is subject to debates by her peers.
“We will still deliberate on that sa floor. Siguro magandang pakinggan kung papano ide-defend ni Sen. Gordon ‘yung (committee) findings,” she said.