PAO urges DOJ to file Dengvaxia raps in one court

Published March 21, 2019, 11:17 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Philippine News Agency

MANILA— Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta on Thursday called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file the cases regarding the Dengvaxia controversy in one court to expedite the proceedings.

Speaking to the media, Acosta noted that while at least one resolution recommending charges has been promulgated by prosecutors handling the case last February 11, they are yet to be informed of where the criminal cases were actually filed by prosecutors.

“There is a precedent to filing it in only one court possibly in Manila. We have no problems as the PAO has offices everywhere but if it is filed in different courts, it will unduly delay the case. Otherwise, we may be all gone without us seeing a resolution of these cases in courts,” Acosta said.

The PAO chief personally assisted families of the victims in the first case resolved by the DOJ panel of prosecutors handling the case in filing motions for reconsideration (MR) before the DOJ on Wednesday.

In their MR, the families are asking the prosecutors to include officials of pharmaceutical firm Sanofi as well as health secretary Francisco T. Duque III in the charges of homicide and violation of the Anti-Torture Act.

The motion named the Sanofi respondents as Carlito Realuyo, Stanislas Camart, Jean Louis Grunwald, Jean-Francois Vacherand, Conchita Santos, Jazel Anne Calvo, Pearl Grace G. Cabali, and Maria Ester V. De Antoni; while the Zuellig respondents as Kasigod Jamias, Michael Becker, Ricardo Romulo, Imran Babar Chughtai, Raymund Azurin, Nilo Badiola, John Stokes Davison, Marc Franck, Ashley Gerard Antonio, Analiza Peralta, Rosa Maria Chua, Danilo Cahoy, Manuel Concio III, Roland Goco and Ma. Visitacion Barreiro.

The charges are in connection with the alleged undue haste in the approval and implementation of the anti-dengue vaccination program initiated during the term of former health chief Janette Garin.

The experimental vaccine Dengvaxia, which was later recalled, allegedly caused severe sickness and deaths of some children.