By Jeffrey Damicog
Families of at least 10 persons who died after receiving the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine will be filing criminal complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) by the end of the month, said Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta on Monday (October 1).
“Sa October 30 more than 10 cases isasampa naming (On October 30 we will file over 10 complaints),” said Acosta who pointed out that the complainants will be assisted by their legal counsels from the PAO.
She noted that the cases included seven deaths from Cebu, the death of a policeman and the death of a doctor, all of whom got inoculated by Dengvaxia.
Acosta said they are among the already 92 dead victims who have been autopsied by the PAO forensics team led by Dr. Erwin Erfe.
Among the victims, complaints concerning the deaths of 17 children are already pending before the DOJ.
The DOJ is already set to conclude this Oct. 30 the conduct of its preliminary investigation over complaints concerning the deaths of nine children, namely, Aejay Bautista, Anjielica Pestillos, Lenard Baldonado, Zandro Colite, Abbie Hedia, Jansyn Art Bataa, Mark Axel Ebonia, Reijazztine Justin Alimagno, and Alexander Jaime.
In the complaints, the families of the nine dead children accused the respondents of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC); for torture resulting in the death of a person and the torture of a child under Republic Act 9745, also known as the Act Penalizing Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment; obstruction of justice under Section 1(b) of Presidential Decree 1829; and violation of Section 3€ of Republic Act 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Former Health Secretary Janette Garin has been named in all of the nine complaints, while, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is respondent in two of the complaints.
Aside from them, those who have been charged in all or some of the complaints include Department of Health (DOH) officials Vicente Belizario Jr., Kenneth Hartigan-Go, Gerardo Bayugo, Lyndon Lee Suy, Irma Asuncion, Julius Lecciones, Joyce Ducusin, and Rosalind Vianzon; Maria Lourdes Santiago and Melody Zamudio of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and Socorro Lupisan and Maria Rosario Capending of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
Executives of Dengavaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur Inc. and distributor Zuellig Pharma Corporation were also included as respondents.
The corporate directors and officers of Sanofi named in the complaint are Carlito Realuyo, Sanislas Camart, Jean Louis Grunwald, Jean-Francois Vacherand, Conchita Santos, Jazel Anne Calvo, Pearl Grace Cabali, and Marie Esther De Antoni.
Those from Zuellig are Kasigod Jamias, Michael Becker, Ricardo Romulo, Imran Babar Chugtai, Raymund Azurin, Nilo Badiola, John Stokes Davison, Marc Franck, Ashley Gerard Antonio, Ana Liza Peralta, Rosa Maria Chua, Danilo Cahoy, Manuel Concio III, Roland Goco, and Ma. Visitacion Barreiro.