The Department of Justice (DoJ) has decided to divide among 10 prosecutors the conduct of separate preliminary investigations of the sixth batch of complaints comprising almost 100 complaints concerning those who suffered and died after getting inoculated with the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
Prosecution Atty. Honey Delgado, spokesperson of the DoJ Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG), said Wednesday that the move was made after the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) filed the sixth batch of complaints on behalf of the families of the victims.
The sixth batch of complaints consists of 99 complaints involving 98 dead vaccinees and one survivor.
Delgado said Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento has assigned 10 prosecutors to conduct the preliminary investigation.
“Tig-10 cases each sila (Each of them were given 10 cases),” the OPG spokesperson said.
The prosecutors assigned to hold separate preliminary investigations are Assistant State Prosecutors Ma. Kristhina Paat, Mary Ann Parong, Antonio Arquiza Jr., Evee Eunice de Keyser, January Tria-Llanera, Monica Liwag, Phillip dela Cruz, Ma. Yvette Tamayo-Coronel; and Prosecution Attorneys Gino Angelo Yanga and Angelica Laygo-Francisco.
Delgado said the prosecutors have already begun conducting separate preliminary investigations.
“Ang alam ko, ‘yung ibang prosecutors submission ng counter-affidavit/s and other pleadings na lang (As far as I know, a number of prosecutors have asked for the submission of counter- affidavit/s and other pleadings),” she said.
Delgado explained the prosecutors can’t hold face-to-face hearings due to the pandemic caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“But then, discretion nila if may pagtawag sila ng hearing for clarificatory questioning (It’s the discretion of the prosecutors to call for a face-to-face hearing for clarificatory questioning).”