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After Garin, Gordon wants Aquino to face Senate on Sanofi dengue vaccine

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Blue ribbon committee chair Sen. Richard Gordon wants former President Benigno Aquino III to testify before them on the procurement of the P3.5-billion dengue vaccine during the last few months of his incumbency.

Gordon said he’s inclined to invite Aquino in the next hearing but the matter has to be decided by his committee members.

“I’ll talk to the others and see whether we should (invite him). But If I were him I’d go para mas maganda sa kanya na mapaliwanag ko ‘yung side ko,” he said.

The senato noted the absence of former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Florencio Abad and planned to compel him to attend the hearing.

Gordon has found questionable the sourcing of funds from the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund (MPBF) of the P3.5 billion to cover the expenses of the said immunization program, a matter that former Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Janet Garin defended, saying while it was not in the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA), it was in the pipeline.

“Dengue is a problem but we have to make haste slowly. We have to look at the science,” the senator said, adding his observation that there was very loose implementation of guidelines at the DOH insofar as the acquisition of the said vaccines are concerned.

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