Lookout bulletin issued vs
Aquino, ex-Cabinet men over Dengvaxia mess
MANILA -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued an Immigration
Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against former President Benigno “Noynoy”
Aquino III, some of his Cabinet members, and key Sanofi Pasteur executives
in connection with the controversial P3.5 billion dengue immunization
program of the Department of Health (DOH).
In a memorandum released Saturday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II
directed Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente to instruct all immigration
officers in the country’s airports and seaports to be on the lookout to
prevent attempts of Aquino and others to leave the country.
Placed under the ILBO were former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, former
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, former Health Secretary Janette Garin,
Guillaume Leroy, Olivier Brandicourt, Ruby Dizon, Thomas Triomphe and
Aguirre issued an ILBO after militant group Gabriela and parents of children
injected with anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia filed graft charges before the
Office of the Ombudsman.
Aguirre said that considering the gravity of the charges, there is a “strong
probability” that the persons may leave the country.
“We thus deem the issuance of an ILBO against the subject persons prudent in
order to at least monitor the itineraries of their flight, travel, and/or
whereabouts,” said Aguirre.
A person subject to an ILBO can still leave the country subject to
conditions and requirements, including clearance from the Justice
An ILBO is different from a court-issued hold departure order (HDO), since
the former only directs the BI to be on the lookout for the subject and to
verify the status of a case against the subject person and not to restrict
an individual from leaving the country.
Earlier, Aguirre ordered National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director
Dante Gierran to “conduct investigation and case build-up over the alleged
danger to public health arising from the PHP3.5 billion anti-dengue
vaccination drive of the DOH and Sanofi Pasteur and if evidence so warrants,
to file appropriate charges thereon.”
Aguirre required the NBI to submit a status report on their investigation
regarding the issue, but did not give the NBI a timeframe on their probe.
He said the probe would look into whether government officials should be
held liable for the seemingly rushed procurement of the vaccine and the
immunization of more than 700,000 children.
Aguirre admitted that among those who would be investigated for possible
culpabilities is former President Aquino, who gave the go-signal for the DOH
to proceed with the vaccination project in 2016.
Also poised to be investigated is former Health Secretary Janette Garin, who
insisted on implementing the project despite strong objections from medical
experts due to lack of certification from the World Health Organization
Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur recently issued an advisory to the
public that its product Dengvaxia is effective for people who have had
dengue prior to immunization but creates a risk of a "severe" case of dengue
for people who have not had dengue. (PNA)