Ex-pres. Aquino faces Dengvaxia probe at House


MANILA — Former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III attended on Monday a House hearing into the controversial dengue vaccine Dengvaxia worth PHP3.5 billion.

The House committee on good government and public accountability invited Aquino to shed light on whether he authorized the realignment of the PHP3.5-billion funds in procuring the Dengvaxia vaccines.

Also present in the hearing was former Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad.

Under Aquino’s administration, the Philippines became the first country in the world to launch a public inoculation plan against dengue in April 2016.

The Department of Health (DOH) has since suspended the anti-dengue immunization drive, after pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur said Dengvaxia could worsen symptoms in vaccinated children who contracted the disease for the first time.

More than 700,000 Filipino school children had already received their Dengvaxia shots by the time the DOH suspended the immunization drive.

Last December, Aquino faced a similar probe at the Senate into his administration’s dengue vaccination program. PNA-northboundasia.com