DOJ creates panel to handle Dengvaxia case vs ex-President Aquino, others
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has created a panel of investigators that will handle the criminal complaint against former President Benigno Aquino III and 19 others for the reported deaths and serious illnesses of children inoculated with the anti-dengue Dengvaxia vaccine.
In Office Order No. 439, Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr. created a panel of prosecutors to handle the complaint filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc. (VPCI).
The panel will be chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rossane Balauag.
Members of the panel are Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Hazel Decena Valdez and Assistant State Prosecutors Consuelo Corazon Pazziuagan and Gino Paolo Santiago.
The panel is tasked with conducting the probe to determine if there is basis to file the cases in court.
The complaint filed by VACC and VPCI is for multiple homicide and physical injuries as well as malversation of public funds and violation of the Anti-Graft Law and the Government Procurement Act.
Following are the other respondents in the complaint:
- former Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad
- former Health Secretary Janette Garin
- incumbent Health Undersecretaries Carol Tanio, Gerardo Bayugo, Lilibeth David and Mario Villaverde
- former Health Undersecretaries Nemesio Gako, Vicente Belizario Jr. and Kenneth Hartigan-Go
- incumbent Health Assistant Secretaries Lyndon Lee Suy and Nestor Santiago
- former Department of Health (DOH) Financial Management Service Director Laureano Cruz
- incumbent DOH directors Joyce Ducusin, May Wynn Belo, Leonila Gorgolon, Rio Magpantay, Ariel Valencia and Julius Lecciones
- Garin’s former executive assistant Yolanda Oliveros
Also in the charge sheet were the senior executives of French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur, the developer and manufacturer of Dengvaxia; and Zuellig Pharma, which supplied the vaccine to DOH.
The DOH has earlier suspended the implementation of the controversial P3.5-billion dengue vaccine project of the DOJ that reportedly poses health risks to children already injected but without history of the disease. /atm
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