Palace urges PAO chief to substantiate ‘serious charge’ vs. DOH

MANILA MalacaAang on Monday urged Public Attorney's Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta to substantiate claims that the Department of Health (DOH) is bribing families of alleged Dengvaxia victims to drop charges against government officials involved in administering the controversial dengue vaccine.

That's a serious charge. She should substantiate that, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo said that while the Palace will keep its hands off on Acosta's claims, he asked her to file appropriate charges against DOH officials if she finds it necessary.

We'll leave it to her, to file the appropriate charges if there is such a case, Panelo said.

He shrugged off Acosta's claim as just an allegation and maintained that once a case is filed, due process will run its course.

We'll have to wait. That is just an allegation so we cannot just be poking into every allegation of every person or citizen of this country, said Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.

If they have evidence against particular public official, then sue them and let due process run its course, he added.

In November 2017, French vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur issued a global advisory, warning of the risks of administering Dengvaxia to persons with no history of dengue.

Several congressional investigations were held on the role of officials during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, which began administering the vaccine to thousands of children in 2016 until it was suspended.

While findings from PAO claimed that children who died and underwent forensic examination showed common signs believed to be attributed to Dengvaxia, findings made by the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) expert panels tapped by the DOH showed that only three out of 14 administered with Dengvaxia died but their deaths could not be directly attributed to the vaccine. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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