3 more Dengvaxia-related cases filed vs Garin, others
Parents and family members of three more school children who died reportedly after being inoculated with the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia on Thursday filed criminal cases in the Department of Justice (DOJ) against former Health Secretary Janette Garin and 36 others.
Assisted by lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), the parents of Clarissa Alcantara, 12, from Aurora province; Erico Leabres, 10, from Nueva Ecija; and Christine Mae de Guzman, 10, from Bataan, accused the respondents of violation of the Anti-Torture Act and Consumer Act.
Aside from Garin and the other former and present health officials, also included in the complaint were officials of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur Inc. and distributor Zuellig Pharma Corp.
The bases of the new complaints were similar to those in the earlier complaints.
Garin and others allegedly committed negligence by “arbitrarily, maliciously, and deliberately [failing] to inform the Dengvaxia recipients and their parents/families of the dangers and risks related to [the vaccine] and to obtain their informed consent.”
The new complaints also cited the failure of the Department of Health under Garin to conduct screening of Dengvaxia recipients and to implement monitoring of the recipients considering the risks posed by the vaccine to seronegative recipients, or those who had no history of dengue.
14 criminal cases
The respondents “displayed grave recklessness, utter bad faith, lack of foresight, lack of skill, want of care, gross neglect, and deliberate, arbitrary and even malicious disregard of the safety and lives of thousands of Filipino children,” the complainants said.
The PAO, which has been tasked by the DOJ to conduct fact-finding investigation and case buildup for the Dengvaxia controversy, has filed a total of 14 criminal cases against Garin and the other respondents.
The PAO said it had documented over 80 cases of children injected with Dengvaxia who later fell ill and died.
Garin and other respondents have denied the charges in their replies to the first complaints and sought their dismissal.
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.