Perhaps he feared that he might be finally imprisoned, former President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday said he is willing to return the money he earned from the Dengvaxia deal. Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s comment that he will ask refund from Sanofi Pasteur, the company that produces that controversial anti-dengue vaccine, Aquino came out of his shell and said he is willing to attend the senate hearing.
On Monday, committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said he will invite the former president to explain his side on why the budget for the dengvaxia was rushed.
More than ₱3 billion funds for the controversial vaccine was released immediately months before Aquino ended his term.
“Wala namang problema. Willing naman tayong magbalik kung may kailangang ibalik. Hindi lang naman tayo ang direktang nakinabang doon, yong iba nasa kasalukuyang administrasyon din”, Aquino said referring to the kickbacks made by approving the vaccine deal.
He did not give details though on how much he made, but hinted that the former Budget Secretary Florencia Abad, and former Health Chief Jannette Garin made the biggest cuts.
“Pag nasa gobyerno ka kasi, normal talaga ang SOP. So part na sya lagi ng process. Whether you like it or not, you can do nothing but to accept it”, Aquino said.
The controversial dengue vaccine has also caused panic across the country and there are already several reports of death on vaccinated children after Sanofi released statement that the effect of dengue is more serious on vaccinated children who has not contracted dengue before. The senate is currently investigating the matter and Aquino is expected to attend on the next session.