ANOTHER criminal case was filed against former health secretary Janette Garin and 36 others before the Department of Justice (DoJ) over the deaths of school children inoculated with the Dengvaxia vaccine.
A complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide under the Revised Penal Code and violations of Anti-Torture Act and Consumer Act was filed against the former health officials and executives of manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur Inc. and distributor Zuellig Pharma Corp. by the family of Michael Tablate, 11-year-old student from Subic in Zambales who died in October last year after being inoculated with the anti-dengue vaccine.
The complaint was filed by Tablate’s mother, Rowena Villegas, through the assistance of the Public Attorney’s Office, which was tasked by the DoJ to conduct a fact-finding investigation and case buildup on the Dengvaxia controversy.
It was the 11th criminal complaint filed against Garin and other respondents before the DoJ. So far as the PAO has already documented 67 cases of deaths from the vaccine.
Just like in the previous cases, the latest complaint accused Garin and others of negligence through “arbitrarily, maliciously, and deliberately failing to inform the Dengvaxia recipients and their parents/families of the dangers and risks related to Dengvaxia and to obtain their informed consent.”
It also cited the failure of the DoH under Garin to conduct proper screening of Dengvaxia recipients and to implement active and aggressive monitoring and surveillance of the recipients considering the risks posed by the vaccine to seronegative recipients or those who had no history of dengue.
In the complaint, the respondents are accused of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code; torture resulting to the death of any person and torture committed against children under Republic Act 9745 (the Act Penalizing Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment); and for having defective and mislabeled product under RA 7394 (Consumer Act of the Philippines).
Apart from Garin, health officials named as respondents in the complaint include Dr. Vicente Belizario Jr., Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go, Dr. Gerardo Bayugo, Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, Dr. Irma Asuncion, Dr. Julius Lecciones, Dr. Joyce Ducusin, Rosalind Viianzon, and Mario Baquilod.
Also named as respondents are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials Dr. Maria Lourdes Santiago and Melody Zamudio; and officials of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), namely, Drs. Socorro Lupisan and Maria Rosario Capeding.
Executives of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pastuer and local distributor Zuellig Pharma are included as respondents.
Sanofi Pasteur executives named as respondents are Carlito Realuyo, Stanislas Camart, Jean Louis Grunwald and Jean-Francois Vacherand while those from Zuellig Pharma are Kasigod Jamias, Micheal Becker, Ricardo Romulo, Imran Babar Chugtal, Rayumund 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.