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Charge Aquino, Garin and Abad

The Food and Drug Administration has ordered the recall of Dengvaxia, the world’s first anti-dengue vaccine, over concerns that it might put at risk those who do not have a history of dengue.

That is to be expected. Imagine 733,00 schoolchildren who have been immunized are all in danger after former President Benigno Aquino III and his health secretary, Janette Garin, went on a buying spree toward the end of the previous administration.

The recall of the drug should not make us complacent. The impact of this fiasco is so overwhelming.

We cannot rely on what the Sanofi representatives are saying. They are playing down the impact of the issue.

The Duterte administration should look into why and how this fiasco even happened. Those responsible should be made accountable.

Records show that Aquino met representatives of Sanofi Pasteur in Paris, twice. Soon enough, a deal was in place. Maybe Aquino wanted to show the people that he was doing something for the people. At that time, the 2016 election was looming large.

My gulay, that’s just criminal!

The drug was never certified by the World Health Organization. Now Sanofi tells us there are risks. This is just unacceptable!

The Duterte administration is now saying that in the wake of investigations scheduled by Congress and the Department of Justice, together with the National Bureau of Investigation, a refund of the P3.5 billion spent for the program should be sought. Parents of the children should file a class suit.

Considering the fact that it was BS Aquino who negotiated this deal that was later implemented by Garin, what must be done is as clear as day. And let us not forget former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad who released the money.

I am truly passionate about holding these people accountable for what they did. I am so worried about those children.

* * *

President Duterte has signed a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as a terrorist organization. This means all who are allied with them are considered terrorists.

What about the political arm of the communist movement—the National Democratic Front of the Philippines? Why aren’t JoMa Sison and Luis Jalandoni not included as terrorists? Doesn’t the NPA get orders to attack government forces from these two?

Earlier, the President ordered the arrest of all NDFP consultants whom he had ordered freed as a sign of goodwill. These consultants have of course disappeared.

From the start, I have doubted the sincerity of the communists to talk peace with the government. All these years, they have been imposing impossible conditions – freeing all prisoners, for instance, or forming a coalition government.

Santa Banana, how many times has the government —across several administrations—held peace talks with the Reds? How many times have these negotiations failed?

The truth of the matter is that the NPA is no longer a monolithic group. Some of course still pursue an ideology to overthrow the government. But many just want to extort money from those in the countryside.

They are in fact assisted by their political fronts in the guise of party-list members of Congress. The irony of it all is that we, taxpayers, pay for the salaries of these lawmakers!

* * *

The government expects a tremendous lift in tax collection once the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) is enacted into law.

The bill has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate. After the bicameral conference committee is through with it, it will be submitted to the President for approval possibly before the end of the month.

Even before the law takes effect, however, the new leadership of the Bureau of Customs has been scrambling to increase revenue collection. Newly installed BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapena said the agency recorded collections of P4.87 billion last month—the highest monthly take of import duties and other taxes.

Lapeña said the bureau achieved the feat despite the fact that Customs only had 18 working days last month. I hope they will not be lulled into complacency.

Reliable sources tell me that before the month is over, two notorious smugglers will be bringing in Ferrari luxury cars with a total value of P300 million to P500 million!

Topics: Charge Aquino , Garin , Abad , train , tax reform

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