PAO set to file more Dengvaxia raps at DOJ

The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) will file within the month more criminal complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the deaths and suffering of those who received shots of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.


“Doon ho sa mga biktima ng Dengvaxia wag ho kayo mag-alala at yung mga additional cases po ay nakaplano na po isasampa sa mga darating na araw po (To the families of the other Dengvaxia victims, please do not worry because the PAO plans to file the complaints these following days,” PAO forensic expert and lawyer Dr. Erwin Erfe said during a press conference on Monday, Jan. 4.

So far, the PAO has autopsied a total of 161 Dengvaxia recipients who died including Sam Gabriel Mendoza, the 14-year-old nephew of PAO Chief Persida Acosta. 

Just last November, the PAO filed the sixth batch of Dengvaxia complaints before the DOJ involving 98 dead vaccinees and the suffering endured by a boy survivor.

Erfe disclosed that the PAO panel of attorneys and the PAO forensic laboratory have already met to discuss the filing of more cases before the DOJ.

Aside from this, the forensic expert said the PAO is already preparing the upcoming trial of the cases already filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) that has been designated by the Supreme Court (SC) to handle all the Dengvaxia cases.

“Ito ho ina-anticipate namin the biggest trial in Philippine history dahil napakarami pong akusado dito, mga pulitiko at mga duktor, mga opisyal ng Department of Health, ng RITM, FDA  (We are anticipating this to become the biggest trial in Philippine history due to the number of accused including politicians, doctors and officials of the Department of Health, Food and Drug Administration and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine),” he said.

Meanwhile, Erfe said the PAO is grateful to President Duterte for having vetoed from the 2021 budget a rider inserted by Senators Franklin Drilon and Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara which states: “Nothing in the appropriation provided in this act shall be used for the salaries or compensation of personnel, travel allowance, meetings and maintenance and other operating expenses of the PAO Forensic Laboratory Division."