Aquino, Garin, 7 others on immigration lookout over Dengvaxia

MANILA, Philippines – Former president Benigno Aquino III, former health secretary Janette Garin, former budget secretary Florencio Abad, and former executive secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr, along with 5 others, were placed on the immigration lookout over the controversial P3.5-billion dengue immunization program during their term.

"Considering the gravity of the possible offenses which may have been committed, there is a strong probability that they may attempt to place themselves beyond the reach of the legal processes of the government by leaving the country," Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said in an immigration lookout bulletin order (ILBO) signed on Saturday, December 23.

The ILBO, according to Aguirre, comes after Gabriela filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman, alleging that the public and private respondents, as well as "other Jane and John Does," violated Section 3(e) and 3(g) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Section 10 of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act. 

 

The group also filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) to compel the government to address the dangers posed by the Dengvaxia vaccine. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is also set to conduct its own probe into the matter.

The Department of Health (DOH) suspended the government's dengue immunization program after pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur announced that its vaccine could lead to "severe" dengue if given to a person with no prior infection.

At least 830,000 Filipinos in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Cebu were vaccinated, most of them grade-schoolers.

While an ILBO does not prevent individuals from leaving the country, it sets a mechanism between the Bureau of Immigration and other authorities so the government is alerted of the subjects' movements. – Rappler.com