Another Dengvaxia raps filed vs Garin, others

By Jeffrey Damicog

Another criminal complaint was filed Friday at the Department of Justice (DOJ) against former Health Secretary Janette Garin concerning her alleged liability in the death of a child who got inoculated with the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine.

Former Health Secretary Janette Garin gestures during the Inquiry into the implementation of the DOH Health Facilities Enhancement Program including the alleged irregularities in the Barangay Health Stations Project in Pasay city, July 4, 2018. (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN) Former Health Secretary Janette Garin (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)

Assisted by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), the parents of Kristel Jean Magtira filed the complaint accusing Garin and her co-respondents of being liable in the death of their daughter who was 12 years old when she died on January 13 after she got vaccinated with Dengvaxia on April 5, 2016 at the Pasig Elementary School.

This is the 30th complaint filed against Garin before the DOJ.

“Complainants were overcome with shock and grief. They could not believe that Kristel would suddenly fell ill and die, as the latter suffered no serious illness prior to her vaccination, other than the common cough and cold. They could not believe that the vaccine, which was supposed to protect their child from dengue, would be the very reason for her death. They could not believe that the vaccine the vaccinators so proudly claimed as worth P5,000 per shot if bought, would cost them the life of their youngest child and only daughter,” read the complaint.

“The sudden loss of their child in this manner caused complainants extreme pain, mental anguish and sleepless nights. There had been several times up to the present that they could not sleep whenever they remember her, and the ordeal and torture she suffered because of extreme pain,” it added.

In their complaint, the parents accused the respondents of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide in violation of Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC); torture resulting in the death of any person and torture committed against children in violation of Sections 4(ii) and 14 in relation to Section 14 (a)(1) and (5) as well as Section 15, respectively, of Republic Act (RA) 9745, the Act Penalizing Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and for violating RA 7394, the Consumer Act of the Philippines, particularly for mislabeled drugs and devices under Article 89, liability for defective products under Article 97, and liability for product and service imperfection under Article 100, all in relation Article 107 which provides for the penalties.

Aside from Garin, nine Department of Health (DOH) officials have been included as respondents, namely, Doctors Vicente Belizario Jr., Kenneth Hartigan-Go, Gerardo Bayugo, Lyndon Lee Suy, Irma Asuncion, Julius Lecciones, Joyce Ducusin; and Rosalind Vianzon and Mario Baquilod.

Also named as respondents are Doctors Socorro Lupisan and Maria Rosario Capeding, both from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM); Maria Lourdes Santiago and Melody Zamudio; Dr. Sonia Gonzales of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC); and Dr. Raymundo Lo, a former PCMC official.

The complaint also included executives of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur and the local distributor of the vaccine, Zuellig Pharma Corporation.

The Sanofi Pasteur executives are Carlito Realuyo, Stanislas Camart, Jean Louis Grunwald, Jean-Francois Vacherand, Conchita Santos, Jazel Anne Calvo, Pearl Grace Cabal, Marie Esther De Antoni.

While, the Zuellig Pharma executives 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.