Another kin of possible Dengvaxia ‘victim’ sues health execs

MANILA Another parent whose teenage son reportedly died after being vaccinated with the anti-dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, on Thursday filed a criminal complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and 36 others, including former health chief Janette Garin.

Darwin Bataan, assisted by Public Attorney's Office Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta, filed the case for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code and violation of Republic Act No. 9745 (Anti-Torture Act) against Duque, Garin and 35 others for the death of his son JanSyn, 13.

This was the second complaint filed against Duque, together with Dr. Maria Lourdes Santiago and Melody Zamudio as respondents. Duque is also charged with obstruction of justice in a previous complaint.

Napakasakit po ang mawalan ng anak (It hurts to lose a child), said Bataan, a resident of Caloocan City.

Bataan said that upon returning home on Nov. 29, 2017, he learned that his son was vaccinated with Dengvaxia. His son died on January 13.

The PAO filed the charges after its forensic teams established that all six victims died of organ failure that could be attributed to the vaccine.

Apart from Garin, those who have been named as respondents in all six complaints are Dr. Socorro Lupisan and Dr. Maria Rosario Capeding of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine; and other officials of the Department of Health (DOH) who were involved in the purchase of the vaccine, namely, Vicente Belizario Jr., Kenneth Hartigan-Go, Gerardo Bayugo, Lyndon Lee Suy, Irma Asuncion, Julius Lecciones, Joyce Ducusin, Rosalind Vianzon, and Mario Baguilod.

Vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. and distributor Zuellig Pharma Corp. were also included as respondents in all of the complaints.

The corporate directors and officers of Sanofi named in the complaints are Carlito Realuyo, Sanislas Camart, Jean Louis Grunwald, Jean-Francois Vacherand, Conchita Santos, Jazel Anne Calvo, Pearl Grace Cabali, and Marie Esther De Antoni.

While, those from Zuellig are Kasigod Jamias, Michael Becker, Ricardo Romulo, Imran Babar Chugtai, Raymund Azurin, Nilo Badiola, John Stokes Davison, Marc Franck, Ashley Gerard Antonio, Ana Liza Peralta, Rosa Maria Chua, Danilo Cahoy, Manuel Concio III, Roland Goco, and Ma. Visitacion Barreiro.

Parents of Dengvaxia 'victims' want Duque out as DOH Chief

Meanwhile, parents whose children were inoculated with Dengvaxia have asked President Rodrigo R. Duterte to sack Duque as health secretary for his alleged inaction and cover-up of the supposed perils of the French-made drug.

In a letter to Duterte dated April 4, Sumachen Dominguez, Maricel Matias, Myra Cruz, and Jessica Leongson want Duterte to replace Duque with a health chief who has the "heart" to assist "victims."

"Alisin po si DOH (Department of Health) Secretary Duque, palitan po ng makataong Secretary of Health na may pusong tumulong sa biktima (Take out Secretary Duque from DOH, replace him with someone humane and with a heart to serve the victims)," read the parents' letter.

The parents also wanted the release of the master list of children and police officers who received the anti-dengue vaccine. More than 830,000 children were given at least one dose of Dengvaxia.

"Bumuo ng mga expert medical teams na tutututok sa mga kalagayan ng mga batang buhay dahil naniniwala kami na dapat masagip ang kanilang buhay (Form expert medical teams that would look into the conditions of those children who are still alive because we believe that they should be saved)," the April 4 letter also said.

Duque was re-appointed to the helm of the DOH last year. Shortly after Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur announced that their vaccine may worsen symptoms of dengue among those who had not been infected prior to vaccination, Duque stopped the government's dengue immunization program. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency