Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta bared this last Thursday after filing the fourth batch of criminal complaints against Garin and others that brought to 44 the total number of cases filed so far before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Michael Varcas/File
Janette Garin faces 100 more Dengvaxia cases
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - July 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo Rep. and former health secretary Janette Garin stands to be charged with about 100 more cases involving deaths of schoolchildren inoculated with the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta bared this last Thursday after filing the fourth batch of criminal complaints against Garin and others that brought to 44 the total number of cases filed so far before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“We already completed forensic exams on 142 cases, so there will be 98 more cases to be filed,” she revealed to reporters in an interview.

In the latest batch of cases, another group of parents whose children allegedly died from the dengue immunization vaccine sought the indictment of Garin, former health officials and executives of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur and distributor Zuellig Pharma for charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and violations of the Anti-Torture Act and Consumer Act.

The latest cases involving the deaths of six schoolchildren – Angelica Pulumbarit, 11 years old, of Bulacan; Maricel Manriza, 12, of Laguna; John Marky Ferrer, 11, of Tarlac; Charmel Flordeliz, 10, of Quezon; Jonell Dacquel, 13, of Nueva Ecija; and Kenchie Ocfemia, 11, of Makati City – brought to 44 the number of cases filed so far before the DOJ.

Just like in the previous cases, the complainants accused Garin and other respondents of negligence for their failure to obtain the consent and inform the Dengvaxia recipients and their parents or families of the dangers and risks related to the vaccine. 

 They cited the failure of the health officials led by Garin to conduct proper screening of Dengvaxia recipients and implement active and aggressive monitoring and surveillance.

Last February, the DOJ resolved the first batch of Dengvaxia cases and indicted Garin and nine other former health officials in court for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide. 

Preliminary investigations showed “sufficient evidence that Garin and other respondents circumvented various regulations in the purchase of P3.5 billion worth of Dengvaxia vaccine which constituted proof of their reckless imprudence.”

The first batch of cases involved the deaths of nine schoolchildren – Aejay Bautista, Angelica Pestilos, Lenard Baldonado, Zandro Colite, Abbie Hedia, Jansyn Bataan, Mark Axel Ebonia, Rey Justin Almagno and Alexander Jaime.

 The DOJ has also completed the preliminary investigation on the second batch of cases involving eight victims – Clarissa Alcantara, Christine Mae de Guzman, Erico Leabres, Roshaine Cariño, Naomi Nimura, John Paul Rafael, Michael Tablate and Christine Joy Asuncion.

 It has also completed the preliminary investigation on the third batch of cases involving 15 victims – Wiljen Alcontin, Eleazar Brigoli Jr., Trishanne Asona, EJ Christian Apa, Joaniña Cortes, Gladimeir Juevesano, Kianah Mae Racuya, Adeline Castroverde, Jessica Viaros, Senior Police Officer 2 Vicente Arugay, Shiela Mae Guerra, Gillian Vasquez, Kristen Jean Martira, medical doctor Kendric Gotoc and Zarah Mae de Luna.

There were six other cases filed by PAO that have not yet undergone preliminary investigation and will be consolidated with the latest cases – Aldred Aberia, Ana Lisa Silverio, Eira Mae Galoso, Leiden Alcabasa, Riceza Salgo and Micaella Mainit.

DENGVAXIA JANETTE GARIN
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