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Nagtatanong lang: Gordon denies wanting to embarrass PNoy

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Senator Richard Gordon on Thursday assured former president Noynoy Aquino that he has no intention of besmirching his reputation when he called for a probe on the purchase of P3.5 billion worth of vaccine during his presidency.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, repeatedly insinuated that the vaccine deal was completed in less than 30 days after Aquino met with Sanofi Pasteur officials, in Paris, France on December 1, 2015.

The fund for the vaccine, taken from the Department of Health’s savings, was released on December 29, 2015. The dengue immunization program was launched in early 2016.

“I’m sorry Mr. President, natatapat lang. December 1 nag-miting kayo sa Paris tapos biglang may natanggap na SARO (Special Allotment Release Order) at na release agad-agad ang pera later on,” Gordon told Aquino during the public hearing.

To which Aquino replied, “I’m just explaining. From our perspective, the choice is simple. We can implement this at this point in time for the protection or wait at least a year as a minimum and expose our people to a risk that could have been prevented because of this vaccine.”

“The bottomline is this, when I got home I was told that this (dengue vaccine) was available already and it had to go through various processes before we can purchase the same,” Aquino added.