Garin, others criminally liable after Sanofi admission — PAO
The admission of the manufacturer of Dengvaxia that it was still in clinical trial when the previous Aquino administration approved a P3.5-billion dengue vaccination program is enough to hold dozens of individuals criminally liable, according to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).
PAO chief Persida Rueda Acosta on Wednesday assured the parents and other relatives of grade school students who allegedly died after being inoculated with Dengvaxia that the complaints they filed against former Health Secretary Janette Garin and 36 others were strong.
At the resumption of the preliminary hearing of the complaints in the Department of Justice (DOJ), Acosta pointed out that French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur had disclosed on Dec. 22, 2015, that a vaccine it developed to combat the mosquito-borne disease was still undergoing clinical trial.
Just a week later, she claimed the Department of Budget and Management issued a special allotment release order for the purchase of P3.5 billion worth of Dengvaxia vaccines.
“That’s where the problem started. Dengvaxia was just an experimental vaccine under clinical trial then. Why did they use nearly 1 million Filipinos as guinea pigs?” Acosta told reporters.
‘Disrespect for life’
“It’s a grave sin and a disrespect for human life when they implemented the vaccination without the informed consent of the victims,” she added.
Acosta expressed confidence that the “medical evidence and literature” they presented to the DOJ panel of prosecutors were enough to convict the respondents for violation of the antitorture law and for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide.
The DOJ directed Garin and her fellow accused to file their rejoinder-affidavits on Aug. 30 before wrapping up the preliminary investigation.
Meanwhile, PAO brought a 12th criminal complaint against Garin and the others for the death of 11-year-old John Paul Rafael, who allegedly died in April 2016 after he was inoculated with Dengvaxia.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.