You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2 more Dengvaxia cases filed before DOJ

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 11/15/2018 Edu Punay
2 more Dengvaxia cases filed before DOJ © Edd Gumban 2 more Dengvaxia cases filed before DOJ

MANILA, Philippines — More criminal cases were filed yesterday against former health secretary Janette Garin and 37 others in connection with the deaths of schoolchildren inoculated with Dengvaxia.

The families of two more victims, Shiela Mae Guerra and Gillian Vasquez, filed charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and violations of the Anti-Torture Act and Consumer Act before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The new complaints brought to 29 the number of cases filed by families of casualties allegedly caused by the controversial dengue immunization program of the previous administration.

The latest cases were filed by Guerra’s mother Sonia of Las Piñas City and Vasquez’s parents Felix Noel and Honey of Cardona, Rizal.

Aside from Garin, charged were several health officials including Secretary Francisco Duque III and the executives of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur and distributor Zuellig Pharma.

Like in previous complaints, Garin and others were accused of negligence for their failure to obtain the consent and inform the Dengvaxia recipients and their parents or families of the dangers and risks related to the vaccine. 

The new complaints, filed with the assistance of Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), cited the failure of the health department under Garin to conduct proper screening of Dengvaxia recipients and implement active and aggressive monitoring and surveillance.

PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said Duque was included in the latest charge sheets because the two victims were inoculated with the vaccine during his term at the DOH.

“Secretary Duque is included in these two cases because we believe he should also be held criminally liable since he failed to stop the vaccination program during his term despite knowing the risks,” Acosta said.

The PAO filed earlier three batches of cases involving 27 victims.

The DOJ, through a panel chaired by Assistant State Prosecutor Maria Emilia Victorio, has completed the preliminary investigation on the first batch of cases involving deaths of nine schoolchildren.

A separate panel chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Dacanay is currently investigating the second batch of cases involving eight victims.

In a hearing yesterday, the families of the complainants reiterated their plea for indictment of Garin and asked the prosecutors to reject the defense she raised in her counter-affidavit.

The panel set the final hearing on Dec. 3 before submitting the case for resolution.

The PAO, which was tasked by the DOJ to conduct a fact-finding investigation and case build-up on Dengavaxia cases, has so far documented at least 100 deaths allegedly from the controversial vaccine.

More from PhilStar Global

PhilStar Global
PhilStar Global
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon