Ejercito: PAO people not experts; leave Dengvaxia probe to PGH | Inquirer News

Ejercito: PAO people not experts; leave Dengvaxia probe to PGH

/ 01:58 PM February 04, 2018

Dr. Erwin Erfe (middle), PAO forensic expert, performs an autopsy on a child who died after receiving the Dengvaxia vaccine. Senator JV Ejercito has told the PAO to ‘let the experts’ at the UP-PGH perform such autopsies. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Senator JV Ejercito is telling the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) to “let the experts” perform the autopsies on children who are believed to have died because of the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Ejercito echoed the stand of former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral and her group, Doctors for Public Welfare (DPW), who questioned the autopsied being performed by the PAO on the children.


READ: Ex-Health chief, doctors want PAO’s Dengvaxia probe to stop

The senator said the PAO should leave the investigation to experts of the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).


“Kung saka sakaling i-autopsy dun na lang sa UP-PGH dahil sila lang ang expert to look in to that. Baka mamaya inieexamine nila pero wala naman silange expertise dagdag hirap lang sa magulang,” the senator said in an interview over radio dzBB on Sunday.

He added, “Let the experts do their job.”

Ejercito, who chairs the Senate health committee, urged PAO to instead cooperate with the experts from PGH.

“I call on PAO to work together, pagsama-samahin natin ang ating mga impormasyon, bakit ipagkakait sa PGH eh sila ang mga eksperto,” Ejercito said in an interview over radio dzBB, Sunday.

The senator expressed apprehension with the diagnosis made by PAO forensic expert Dr. Erwin Erfe linking the deaths of all autopsied children to Dengvaxia. He noted that the PGH’s forensic pathologists review on 14 dead children determined that the deaths were not linked to the anti-dengue vaccine.

“Nakakatakot talaga. Sana lang maging mahinahon tayo pakinggan ang mga eksperto. Ngayon nagsalita na ang UP-PGH. Incline akong paniwalaan ang panel of experts dahil sila nga ang pathologists,” Ejercito pointed out, saying the contradicting reviews may add to public’s “hysteria” and “panic.”

“Di naman sa dina-downplay ko ang PAO, I commend their effort, pero wag naman tayo magkamali,” he said.


Even Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the blue ribbon committee, sees that it was “too early” for PAO to say that the deaths of children were related to Dengvaxia.

“I think it’s too early for PAO to say na it’s Dengvaxia,” he said, also during an interview over dzBB.

PAO Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta, however, maintained that her office was only conducting forensic examinations on the children’s bodies at the request of their parents.

READ: PAO defies ex-DOH chief’s call to stop Dengvaxia probe

PAO’s forensic experts have reported a “trend” in the deaths of children who received Dengvaxia. They noted that the bodies of children that they examined suffered internal bleeding and died within six months from getting the vaccine.

The Senate has launched an investigation into the P3.5 billion dengue-immunization program, which started under former Health Secretary Janette Garin’s watch.

The vaccination drive was halted by current Health Secretary Francisco Duque III when Sanofi Pasteur bared in November 2017 that Dengvaxia could worsen symptoms of the disease for people who had not previously been infected by the virus/ cbb

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TAGS: Dengvaxia, Doctors for Public Welfare, Erwin Erfe, Esperanza Cabral, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, News, PAO, PGH, Senate
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