VACC lawyers rebuked for piecemeal Dengvaxia complaint
For submitting incomplete information on their criminal complaint against those allegedly behind the Dengvaxia vaccine mess, lawyers of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc. (VPCI) were scolded by prosecutors of the Department of Justice (DOJ) during a clarificatory hearing Friday.
DOJ panel of prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor (SASP) Rossane Balauag told the complainants’ lawyers led by Manuelito Luna that while they have identified 20 respondents including former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, former Health Secretary Janette Garin and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, they have failed to give the addresses of these individuals.
Balauag said they have yet to decide on whether summons will be sent to Aquino and the other respondents since what transpired Friday is not yet a preliminary investigation.
“The panel would first evaluate the documents to be submitted by the VACC and VPCI. It is only after these have been submitted will the panel decide if the respondents would be subpoenaed,” Balauag said.
The complainants have also requested the DOJ prosecutors to include as respondents the 20 members of the board of directors Dengvaxia maker Sanofi Pasteur and the 20 members of the board of directors of its local distributor Zuellig Pharma.
Prosecutors however said the complainants should have included the names and addresses of board of directors from Sanofi and Zuelling Pharma
Prosecutors also denied the request of the complainant to subpoena documents from seven government agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Health, Children’s Hospital in conection with their investigation related to Dengvaxia.
“The panel does not collect documents for you,” Balauag said.
Luna eventually withdrew their request for the subpoena of documents since “we already have them in our possession.”
The complaint against Aquino and 19 others was for multiple homicide and physical injuries through negligence.
The first preliminary investigation is set on April 20. /muf
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