Duterte urged to suspend 13 DOH execs over Dengvaxia
Anti-corruption advocates on Monday asked President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend 13 officials of the Department of Health (DOH) over the controversial anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Vanguards of the Philippine Constitution, Inc. (VCPI) filed an administrative complaint against the following:
-Undersecretary Carol Tanio,
– Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo
– Undersecretary Lilibeth David
– Undersecretary Mario Villaverde
– Assistant Secretary Lyndon Lee Suy
– Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago Assistant Secretary
– Director Laureano Cruz
– OIC Director Joyce Ducusin
– OIC Director Mar Wynn Bello
– Director IV Leonila Gorgolon
– Director IV Rio Magpantay
– Director IV Ariel Valencia
– Director Julius Lecciones
The complaint was filed before the Office of the President.
The complainant accused the DOH officials of committing grave misconduct and gross negligence for “ill-advisedly, thoughtlessly, or imprudently” implementing the Dengvaxia program.
“We are here accusing the officials of DOH, especially the members of the top echelon officials of the department, including middle level official in the rank of directors but since this is an administrative case we didn’t include those who were not now in the DOH,” VACC lawyer Nasser Marohomsalic told reporters in Malacañang.
“Now we accused them of gross negligence and grave misconduct. These two crimes are twin crimes, twin brothers or sisters, they go together on the ground that these people violated medical protocols in the consideration of the program, the Dengvaxia program, as well as violations of certain provisions of the Procurement Reform Law,” Marohomsalic added.
The VACC and VPCI have asked Duterte to suspend the DOH officials pending investigation “so that they may not use their power or influence to destroy, hide or tamper with the evidence as well as intimidate potential witnesses against them, or otherwise obstruct justice.”
“It is incontrovertible that the respondents are guilty of grave misconduct and gross negligence for ill-advisedly, thoughtlessly, or imprudently implementing the school-based immunization of tetravalent dengue vaccine of the Department of Health in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon and Central Luzon, and/or for causing the Dengvaxia fiasco,” the petition read.
On December 2017, the DOH suspended the government’s massive dengue immunization program after manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur admitted that dengue vaccine could worsen the disease in some cases.