By Jeffrey Damicog
Former Health Secretary Janette Garin is facing six more criminal complaints filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the deaths of children who received shots of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
The complaints were filed by the victims’ parents, accompanied by their counsels from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), on Thursday.
PAO Chief Persida Acosta said 98 more complaints will be filed before the DOJ for other Dengvaxia victims who perished following the vaccination.
“Natapos na namin ang 142 forensic autopsies (We have so far autopsied a total of 142 victims),” Acosta told reporters.
“Ninety-eight pa yung ipa-file namin (We will file 98 more cases),” the PAO chief said, noting that 44 complaints have already been filed before the DOJ.
Of the 44 complaints, 32 comprise the first, second, and third batches of cases which have already underwent preliminary investigation at the DOJ.
On Thursday, a panel of prosecutors, chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Arnold Magpantay, concluded the preliminary investigation of the third batch of complaints.
The latest complaints filed Thursday concern the deaths of schoolchildren Angela Pulumbarit, Maricel Manriza, John Marky Ferrer, Charmel Flordeliz, Jonell Dacquel, and Kenchie Ocfemia.
Prior this, the PAO also filed six other complaints which have yet to undergo preliminary investigation.
They concern the deaths of Aldred Aberia, Ana Lisa Silverio, Eira Mae Galoso, Leiden Alcabasa, Riceza Salgo, and Micaella Mainit.
Under the 12 latest complaints, the respondents are accused of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code; torture resulting in the death of a person and torture committed against children under Republic Act 9745, the Anti-Torture Act of 2009; and for violating RA 7394, the Consumer Act of the Philippines, particularly, the mislabeling of drugs and devices, liability for defective products, and liability for product and service imperfection.
Garin has been named respondent in all 12 complaints, while, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is a respondent in the complaint filed by the parents of Galoso.
The others who were also named respondents in all or some of the complaints are current and former Department of Health (DOH) officials, namely: Dr. Vicente Belizario Jr., Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go, Dr. Gerardo Bayugo, Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, Dr. Irma Asuncion, Dr. Julius Lecciones, Dr. Joyce Ducusin, Dr. Herminigildo Valle, Rosalind Vianzon, and Mario Baquilod.
Also named respondents in the complaints are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials Dr. Maria Lourdes Santiago and Melody Zamudio; and officials of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), namely, Drs. Socorro Lupisan and Maria Rosario Capeding.
The other respondents are Dr. Sonia Gonzales of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC); and Dr. Raymundo Lo, a former PCMC official.
Executives of Sanofi Pastuer and local distributor Zuellig Pharma are also included as respondents.
Sanofi Pasteur executives named as respondents are Carlito Realuyo, Stanislas Camart, Jean Louis Grunwald, Jean-Francois Vacherand, Conchita Santos, Jazel Anne Calvo, Pearl Grace Cabali, and Marie Esther De Antoni.
Those from Zuellig Pharma are Kasigod Jamias, Michael Becker, Ricardo Romulo, Imran Babar Chugtai, Rayumund 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.