Raps filed vs QC judge in Dengvaxia case

Administrative charges have been filed before the Supreme Court by parents whose children have died after they were inoculated with Dengvaxia vaccine against a Quezon City trial court judge they described as “partial and unfair.”

Complainants Ramil Pestilos, Liza Maquilan, Elena Baldonado, Ariel Hedia, Ian Colite, Analyn Ebona, Almer Bautista, Darwin Bataan and Merly Bataan, who represent other parents lodged their complaint on 28 February against QC-Regional Trial Court Branch 13 Judge Lily Ann Marcos-Padaen before SC’s Office of the Court Administrator.

The handling of the criminal case filed by the initial batch of eight parents whose children’s death were linked to Dengvaxia was taken over by Judge Padaen after Judge Jose Bautista of Branch 107 inhibited.

Principal respondent, ex-Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, and her eight co-respondents, seven of them doctors, were facing reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, among others.

Family courts

Earlier, the Supreme Court had issued a resolution that designated the family courts in Quezon City as the sole venues that will exclusively handle all Dengvaxia-related cases.

The complainants were the same group of parents who earlier filed an urgent motion for inhibition before the sala of Padaen whom they had sought to inhibit from further hearing their case.

The parents decided to elevate their plight to the SC after they reportedly heard from court insiders that the lady judge would not inhibit, without waiting for any action from Padaen herself.

Aided by government lawyers, the parents said Padaen should be administratively held liable under the rules of the Code of Judicial Conduct which states that: “A judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”

“We are surprised and saddened at the same time to find out that the person (in reference to the judge) whom we are expecting to be fair by listening to all sides is the one who does not listen to our plight,” the parents said.

They noted that they had already suspected Padaen’s apparent partiality in the case when the latter did not want to handle the case after it was raffled off to her sala following Bautista’s inhibition.

Unfavorable decision

They said they would not mind if the judge would render a decision unfavorable to them as long as all pieces of evidence are presented which are not happening in the present setup.

The parents said they were doubly shocked and dismayed when the judge did not allow the prosecutors to present a prosecution witness named Janrose Tarrobago for reason that she would only accept those inoculated with Dengvaxia cards.

It was a public record that there were schoolchildren who got the Dengvaxia shots even if they were not given vaccination cards at the time with no less than Duque telling lawmakers during a Senate inquiry, they said.

Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta and its public lawyers have been supporting the parents in their search for justice for the untimely death of their children allegedly because of Dengvaxia which was already banned by former president Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.

Garin, Duque and 37 others have been charged before the DoJ.

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