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Acosta runs after Duque



The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) will file a partial motion for reconsideration on the Department of Justice (DoJ) resolution that exonerates Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and some executives of the pharmaceutical company Zuellig from any liability in the Dengvaxia controversy.

PAO chief Persida Acosta confirmed they wanted Duque impleaded in the case after learning of the DoJ ruling excluding him from the cases to be filed against those involved in the inoculation of thousands of students of the said vaccine.

Acosta said they will file a partial motion for reconsideration on the DoJ resolution with respect to the findings on Duque and Zuellig officials.

Zuellig acted as the distributor of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine in the Philippines.
She added there were over 10 deaths during the term of Duque after he pursued the immunization program in November 2017, despite initial findings about the dangers of the victim.

“He deliberately ignored the documented warnings of the Filipino experts as early as March 2016,” Acosta said.

Last week, the DoJ panel of investigating prosecutors found probable cause to file eight counts of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide against former Health Secretary Janette Garin and nine other current and former DoH officials for the alleged deaths of children due the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Aside from Garin, the panel, led by Senior Asst. State Prosecutor Ma. Emilia Victorio, likewise, recommended the filing of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide against Doctors Vicente Belizario Jr., Kenneth Hartigan-Go, Gerardo Bayugo and Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy.

Also charged were Doctors Irma Asuncion, Julius Lecciones, Maria Joyce Ducusin, Rosalinda Vianzon and Mario Baquilod.

Also, in the charge sheet were, Doctors Socorro Lupisan and Maria Rosario Capeding, both from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

They were joined by Carlito Realuyo, Stanislas Camart, Jean Louis Grunwald, Jean Francois Vacherand, Conchita Santos and Jazel Anne Calvo, all from the Dengvaxia-manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur Inc.

Four counts of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide were also recommended against Ma. Lourdes Santiago and Melody Zamudio of the Food and Drug Administration.

The panel members said they found Garin and the other respondents to have exhibited inexcusable lack of precaution and foresight when they facilitated, with undue haste, the registration and purchase of Dengvaxia and used the vaccine in implementing a school-based dengue mass immunization program.

They added Garin and the other respondents circumvented various regulations in the purchase of P3.5 billion worth of the anti-dengue vaccine that constituted proof of their reckless imprudence.