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Aquino questions NBI’s Dengvaxia complaint

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Benigno-Aquino-III-AFP
FORMER Pres. Benigno "Noynoy" S. Aquino III — AFP

FORMER PRESIDENT Benigno S.C. Aquino III questioned on Tuesday the graft charges filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against him and two of his former cabinet members for their alleged illegal purchase of Dengvaxia vaccine used in the government’s nationwide anti-dengue program. “Ang problema ko nga, wala kaming kopya ng complaint kung meron, wala kaming kopya nung findings nila (My problem is we do not have a copy of the complaint and we also do not have a copy of their findings),” Mr. Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview as he submitted before the Department of Justice (DoJ) a rejoinder for another Dengvaxia-related complaint filed against him. Mr. Aquino said it is unclear to him if NBI procedures were followed to merit the findings. The NBI recommended on July 16 to the Office of the Ombudsman the filing of technical malversation charges against Mr. Aquino, former Health secretary Janette L. Garin, and former Budget secretary Florencio B. Abad. It cited that the P3.5-billion Dengvaxia program was not in the government’s General Appropriations Act for 2015 and 2016, and that the funding illegally came from the 2015 Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund savings. — Dane Angelo M. Enerio

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