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Dengvaxia raps vs PAO chief junked
In October 2018, lawyer Wilfredo Garrido Jr. filed a complaint against Acosta and Erfe for supposedly “fanning the flames of public hysteria” by attributing at least 80 deaths to Dengvaxia, using questionable and inconclusive autopsy reports by the PAO forensic laboratory.
The STAR/KJ Rosales, File

Dengvaxia raps vs PAO chief junked

Rhodina Villanueva, Ghio Ong, Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed the criminal and administrative charges filed against Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta and PAO forensic laboratory head Erwin Erfe over the controversial dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.

In a 23-page resolution obtained by media yesterday, the ombudsman said there was insufficient evidence to sustain the complaints against Acosta and Erfe.

The ombudsman said Acosta and Erfe’s act of helping the families of the children who were inoculated with Dengvaxia, in terms of evidence gathering and filing of cases, falls within the mandate of the PAO.

Under Republic Act 9406, Ombudsman Samuel Martires said Acosta is authorized to represent indigent relatives of Dengvaxia vaccine recipients.

Acosta and Erfe lauded the ombudsman’s office for dismissing the cases they described as “harassment.”

In October 2018, lawyer Wilfredo Garrido Jr. filed a complaint against Acosta and Erfe for supposedly “fanning the flames of public hysteria” by attributing at least 80 deaths to Dengvaxia, using questionable and inconclusive autopsy reports by the PAO forensic laboratory.

The criminal charges include violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, falsification of public documents, malversation of public funds and illegal use of public funds or property also referred as technical malversation under the Revised Penal Code.

Garrido also charged Acosta and Erfe with administrative offenses of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, grave abuse of authority and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service.

The complainant said Acosta’s creation of the forensic laboratory was illegal as it has no mandate from Congress nor from the Administrative Code of the Philippines.

Garrido alleged that Acosta used the forensic laboratory as a tool to manufacture bogus evidence directly linking Dengvaxia to the death of at least 80 people, mostly children inoculated with the dengue vaccine.

The ombudsman, however, ruled that the creation of the PAO forensic laboratory and the hiring of Erfe were both approved by the Department of Budget and Management.

DENGVAXIA PAO
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