Officials responsible for the dengue vaccine mess are bound to face graft charges, the chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability said on Sunday.
“The hustled purchase of P3.5-billion worth of Dengvaxia shots in 2015 may be considered highly detrimental to the government,” Surigao del Sur second-district Rep. Johnny Pimentel said.
Under the law, Pimentel said entering into any contract or transaction that is deemed “manifestly and grossly disadvantageous” to the government constitutes a corrupt and unlawful practice.
Pimentel urged Dengvaxia’s manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, to promptly return the P3.5-billion that the Philippine government, through the Department of Health (DOH), paid for the anti-dengue shots.
“This is the right thing for Sanofi to do. The sooner they give us back the money, the better,” he said.
The lawmaker also urged Sanofi Pasteur to establish an indemnity fund, as proposed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, to pay for the future hospitalization and treatment of Filipino school children who may be rendered sick after receiving Dengvaxia shots.