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Let Aquino answer charges before the courts, not the House — Atienza

Buhay partylist Rep. Lito Atienza on Monday said the House of Representatives has already been “overtaken” by criminal proceedings on the Dengvaxia controversy, arguing that former President Benigno Aquino III and his former officials were better off answering the charges against them in court.

“We are here to pinpoint responsibility and accountability of public officials. But based on the statements being issued by the officials involved, it is clear that this is going nowhere. Magtatalo lang tayo,” he said.

“We have all been overtaken by the filing of cases by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) against former President Benigno Aquino III, former Budget Secretary Butch Abad, and former Health Secretary Janet Garin. Bigyan na lang natin sila ng pagkakataon na magpaliwanag sa korte,” the senior deputy minority leader said.

He said the House committees on good government and public accountability and of health, which were conducting the joint inquiry, were just wasting their time.

“Rather than spend time in this hearing, let us listen to them answer the charges in court. Sa ngayon kasi, there are a lot of differences in opinion regarding the project – with some saying it’s good, others say it was illegal. May ibang nagsasabi na nakabubuti at may ibang nagsasabi na nakamamatay. Who authorized the release of the funds, how did they get the money?” Atienza said.

The congressman said there was “clear conspiracy” in the case.

“Dahil kung as far back as 2010-2012 ay alam na nilang lumalaki pala ang problema sa dengue, bakit hindi nila nilagyan ng sapat na pondo ang DOH para dito? Paano nila nalaman na Dengvaxia pala ang solusyon at Sanofi ang dapat kausapin tungkol dito?” he said.

“They did not really act according to what is best for Filipinos. Mabuti pa, sa korte na sila sumagot at hindi dito. Kapag sila ay napatunayang ignorante o umabuso sa kapangyarihan, makukulong sila. At kung may korapsyon na nangyari, mabubulok sila sa kulungan!” he added.