Senatorial candidate wants Aquino charged over Dengvaxia

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 3) — A senatorial candidate who co-founded a group staunchly supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte wants his predecessor to be charged over the controversial anti-dengue Dengvaxia vaccine.

Inutos ni Noynoy Aquino na i-vaccinate ang one million children. If that's the case then the responsibility and onus lies (sic) on him and he has to answer for this,” Antonio "Butch" Valdes said during CNN Philippines’ third Senatorial Forum on Sunday.

Valdes said that more people need to be indicted over the Dengvaxia vaccine, which he said was administered to children even if it was “obviously not fully tested.”

Valdes is a co-founder of the Citizen National Guard, a group supportive of Duterte which has vowed to fight those it perceives to be true enemies of the nations, including "yellowtards" or supporters of the Liberal Party, the political party of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

The Justice department has found probable cause to charge former Health Secretary Janette Garin and other officials from the Health department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide over the dengue vaccine mess.

However, Senate Blue Ribbon committee chair Richard “Dick” Gordon said that the Justice department should also recommend charges against former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and former Budget Secretary Butch Abad.

Gordon also said that there is not enough evidence for the Justice department to indict Garin and other officials for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide because there is not enough evidence to link Dengvaxia to the deaths of the children who received the vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur insists that Dengvaxia had undergone all clinical trials before it was approved for release to the market. The anti-dengue vaccine has been pulled out from Philippines shelves following the controversy, even if the European Union has approved it for use in dengue endemic countries.

Dengvaxia was administered to over 800,000 schoolchildren before Sanofi Pasteur disclosed that it can cause “severe disease” among those who have not yet been infected with dengue.