Vaccine scare is not PAO chief’s fault – Palace
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday said it is not blaming Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda Acosta for the immunization scare supposedly triggered by the Dengvaxia vaccine mess.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the remark after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III blamed Acosta and her “baseless claims and accusations” that led to the vaccine scare.
“Well you know, the PAO chief, as a lawyer is defending or pursuing a theory that favors the clients. In other words, she is pursuing advocacy, an impassioned one, so I cannot blame her for that,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“But even if we do that as lawyers, we are confronted with realities that our position may affect and impact negatively on the general public. So it’s her call,” he added.
President Duterte last month encouraged the parents to have their children vaccinated against preventable illnesses and added that they should not be spooked by the Dengnvaxia mess.
Duque is one of former and current government officials facing complaints over the alleged deaths of recipients of anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
The Palace official also bared that Duque, during Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting in Malacañang, said that Acosta has “aggravated the situation by filing cases against him.”
“Since he’s the Department of Health chief, it affects his credibility vis-a-vis the people,” Panelo said. / gsg
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