PAO asks SC to grant request to consolidate Dengvaxia cases
MANILA, Philippines — The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) has asked the Supreme Court to grant its request to consolidate and transfer to a Quezon City court eight criminal cases in connection with deaths allegedly linked to the anti-dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.
In its motion for early resolution filed November 12, PAO urged the High Court to grant its request last April 4, 2019, to refer the cases to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Office of the Clerk of Court for raffling to a family court.
PAO said consolidating these cases “will promote the speedy administration of justice and will be more favorable for all parties.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) early this year indicted former Health Secretary Janette Garin and 19 others for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide over eight complaints in relation to deaths allegedly linked to Dengvaxia.
Seven of the cases were filed separately in a Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) in Quezon City, a Municipal Trial Court (MTC) in San Pedro, Laguna; an MTC in Balanga, Bataan; two different MeTCs in Muntinlupa City; and a MeTC in Caloocan City where two cases were filed.
The previous administration implemented a national anti-dengue immunization program and procured Dengvaxia vaccines from pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur.
However, the government ordered its recall after the company issued a statement in 2017 stating that its dengue vaccine – the first in the world – may worsen dengue for those who have yet to contract the virus before being vaccinated. This recall came after reports of children dying allegedly from complications associated with the vaccine. And since the recall, there were reported cases of death among children who received Dengvaxia shots due to severe dengue.
Edited by KGA
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