DOJ urged to include 2 doctors in Dengvaxia complaints
The families of children who died allegedly after receiving the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine have asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to include two doctors as respondents to their criminal complaints against former Health Secretary Janette Garin and dozens others.
In a 15-page motion, 13 complainants asked the DOJ to grant their motion to implead Drs. Raymundo Lo and Sonia Gonzales in existing charges for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide violations of the Consumer Protection Act (Republic Act 7394), particularly involving “defective product” and “mislabeled product.”
Former Garin and 36 others — including officials of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. and distributor Zuellig Pharma Corp. — are currently facing 29 complaints for the said violations.
The complainants, assisted by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), said that Lo, former deputy executive director at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and Gonzales were among those who “facilitated the purchase of Dengvaxia vaccine even before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued the Certificate of Product Registration.”
They said Gonzales allegedly signed a purchase request for the vaccine in Jan. 21, 2016, on behalf of Lo.
“From the foregoing actuations, the complicity of Dr. Lo and Dr. Gonzales to the purchase of Dengvaxia vaccine with undue haste despite of the fact that it is still on its trial stage is manifest making them liable as the other respondents in this case,” the motion read.
On Oct. 10, a DOJ panel of investigating prosecutors handling the first batch of Dengvaxia criminal complaints earlier denied Garin’s motion to admit Lo’s testimony as part of its preliminary investigation into dengvaxia-linked deaths.
Last Nov. 21, Lo testified at a House hearing that the the PAO forensic team’s autopsy findings linking the deaths of alleged Dengvaxia victims “were not supported by factual data.” /atm
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