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Aquino, others face malversation and negligence complaints over Dengvaxia

Parents claiming their children died after receiving Dengvaxia are accompanied by Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta at the Department of Justice. Edd Gumban, File

Aquino, others face malversation and negligence complaints over Dengvaxia

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - February 12, 2018 - 6:12pm
MANILA, Philippines — Two groups allied with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday filed criminal raps against former President Benigno Aquino III and his executives over the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.
 
Named in technical malversation and criminal negligence complaints are Aquino, former Budget chief Florencio Abad, ex-Health chief Janette Garin, several employees of the Department of Health, the board of Sanofi Pasteur and board of Zuellig.
 
Volunteers against Crime and Corruption's lawyer Manuelito Luna and and suspended lawyer Eligio Mallari of the Vanguard of Philippine Constitution Inc. filed the complaint at the Department of Justice.
 
Despite contrary statements from medical experts, the VACC and VPCI insist that Aquino and his executives should be held accountable for the "deaths and dengue shock following inoculation of Dengvaxia."
 
"The causal relationship between vaccine and deaths, dengue shock or adverse events, under the circumstances, could hardly be ignored. And the number of counts would be the number of subjects inoculated irrespective of the number of doses administered," the complaint read.
 
Experts from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital denied the claims of the VACC and VPCI, which have been parroted by the Public Attorney's Office. The PGH panel said that in the 14 deaths they are currently investigating, three have a "causal association" to the vaccine.
 
The Department of Health has said that the panel has yet to release a final report on its investigation.

Court is proper venue for Dengvaxia issue

Former Health chief Garin, in a message to reporters, welcomed the filing of the complaints. 
 
"It's better to transfer the venue of the debate in court and stop the hysteria being generated by misleading questions and conclusions," she said adding that the court is the proper forum to "delineate facts, scrutinize experts and allow the truth to prevail."
 
"Public health has been threatened and our people do not deserve this," Garin also said.
 
Abad, for his part, maintained that he is confident that the Department of Budget and Management abided by the "procurement and proper observance of accounting and budgetary rules" of the vaccine.
 
Aquino and his former officials are facing a string of complaints over the possible liability in the Dengvaxia controversy.
Both houses of Congress are also conducting separate probes into the cases.
 
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