Ex-DoH chief faces new set of raps over Dengvaxia

July 11, 2019
Janette Garin
Janette Garin

Fresh charges have been filed against former Health secretary Janette Garin and several others, this time involving the deaths of six more schoolchildren inoculated with controversial anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

Accompanied by the Public Attorney’s Office, parents of the dead pupils -- Angela Pulumbarit, Maricel Manriza, John Marky Ferrer, Charmel Flordeliz, Jonell Dacquel, and Kenchie Ocfemia  -- yesterday filed the charges before the Department of Justice.

The charges filed were reckless imprudence resulting in homicide under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code; torture resulting in the death of a person and torture committed against children under Republic Act 9745, the Anti-Torture Act of 2009; and for violating RA 7394, the Consumer Act of the Philippines, particularly, the mislabeling of drugs and devices, liability for defective products, and liability for product and service imperfection.

Prior to yesterday’s filing, six complaints were recently filed against Garin concerning the deaths of Aldred Aberia, Ana Lisa Silverio, Eira Mae Galoso, Leiden Alcabasa, Riceza Salgo, and Micaella Mainit.

The others who were also named as respondents in all or some of the complaints were current and former Health officials, namely Dr. Vicente Belizario Jr., Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go, Dr. Gerardo Bayugo, Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, Dr. Irma Asuncion, Dr. Julius Lecciones, Dr. Joyce Ducusin, Dr. Herminigildo Valle, Rosalind Viianzon, and Mario Baquilod.

Also included in the charges were 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. The other respondents were Dr. Sonia Gonzales of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC); and Dr. Raymundo Lo, a former PCMC official.

Executives of Sanofi Pastuer and local distributor Zuellig Pharma are also included as respondents.