Graft raps filed against ex-president Aquino and others over Dengvaxia mess’s

A complaint was filed before the Justice Department on Monday against former president Benigno Aquno 3rd and former cabinet and health officials in connection with the Dengvaxia vaccine immunization programme, The Manila Times Online reported on Tuesday.

In a 16-page joint complaint-affidavit, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and whistleblowers Francisco Cruz and Vanguard of the Phil. Constitution Inc sought the filing of charges against Aquino, former budget secretary Florencio Abad and former health secretary Janette Garen for the procurement of Dengvaxia vaccine from French pharmaceutical giant Pasteur Sanofi and the vaccination of almost one million individuals, mostly children.

Several former health officials were also named in the complaint-affidavit.

In the complaint, VACC and its whistleblowers said Aquino and other respondents should be held accountable for violation olf Republic Act 9184 or the Governmet Procurement Act and RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for malversation of public funds.

They alleged that Aquino met Sanofi officials abroad, juggled funds and authorized the release of P3.5 billion for the procurement of Dengvaxia vaccine for the immunization programme launched by the department of health during the 2016 election period.

They said the other respondents were liable because of their involvement in the planning and implementation of the mass vaccination programme that has put the health of thousands of children at risk.

VACC founder Dante Jimenez said VACC would file a separate plunder complaint against Aquino and other administration officials.