DOJ summons 2 gov’t docs for Dengvaxia probe

MANILAProsecutors have summoned two government physicians whom the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to include in the criminal charges over the multi-billion-peso Dengvaxia vaccine fiasco.

In separate subpoenas dated Dec. 10, the DOJ asked Dr. Raymundo W. Lo and Dr. Sonia B. Gonzales of the Philippine Children's Medical Center (PCMC) to appear before the prosecution panel handling the case.

The two were also required to submit their counter affidavits and affidavits of their witnesses before the panel on Dec. 28, 2018.

The subpoenas were signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Susan F. Dacanay and Assistant State Prosecutors Noel V. Antay Jr., Agnes Arellano, Jervis A. Gaspar and Magelli Anne Diaz.

In a motion filed earlier this month, the PAO asked the panel to include Lo and Gonzales as among the John Does in the charges.

"(T)he heart of the instant case concerns the lives and health of the Filipino children inoculated with a new and experimental vaccine without their or their families' informed consent and without proper screening," the PAO motion said.

"The complicity of Dr. Lo and Dr. Gonzales to the purchase of Dengvaxia vaccine with undue haste despite the fact that it is still on its trial stage is manifest making them liable as the other respondents in this case," it added.

The PAO said that as of Nov. 23, 2018, 102 children who received Dengvaxia already died while all of them exhibited a common pattern in signs and symptoms.

Among the evidence filed by the complainants in support of their case was a purchase receipt No. PH-2016-001GH dated Jan. 21, 2016 signed by Lo as head of the center and Gonzales who signed for his behalf proving they requested the purchase of Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine for the Expanded Program of Immunization.

The complainants have filed charges for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide and violation of the Anti-Torture Act for each individual Dengvaxia victim.

The dead children's parents and guardians are the complainants in the case, namely Fredeswinda A. Jajalla-Nimura, Rowena M. Villegas, Manuel E. Ramirez Jr., Kristina A. Ramirez, Erwin C. Alcantara, Lyngin A. Alcantara, Nelson De Guzman, Marivic G. De Guzman, Romeo G. CariAo, Virginia D. CariAo, Philip Cruz Leabres, Leny Salazar, Erico Mendoza Leabres and Fausta E. Gasilla. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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