July 25, 2021 at 11:50 pm
Rio N. Araja
The Public Attorney’s Office hits out at state prosecutors from the Department of Justice for filing new Dengvaxia cases before a metropolitan trial court (MeTC), instead of a regional trial court in Quezon City as designated by the Supreme Court to hear all Dengvaxia cases.
PAO Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said the nine new cases have been filed with the Taguig City Metropolitan Trial Court, and not with the Quezon City Regional Trial Court’s Branch 107.
“Are we playing a game of ping pong (table tennis) here? The filing before the MeTC is just causing too much delay on the cases,” she told reporters.
To remand the Dengvaxia-related cases due to wrong filing has caused prolonged agony to the kin of the victims and waste of taxpayers’ money, she lamented.
Dr. Erwin Erfe, PAO forensics chief who conducted autopsy on the 165 supposed Dengvaxia victims, also questioned the state prosecutors for ignoring the Supreme Court decision.
In an Aug. 27, 2020 resolution, the Supreme Court through Division Clerk of Court Librada Buena granted the petition of the victims’ parents to transfer the venue of all Dengvaxia cases to a family court in Quezon City.
When asked if the DOJ prosecutors could face contempt of court, Rueda-Acosta said “That should be the case. But we do not want to file (a complaint) anymore.”
On Nov. 29, 2017, Sanofi Pasteur Inc., the vaccine manufacturer, posted on its official website that “For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.”
The Department of Health hadd procured P3.5 billion worth of the vaccines under its mass vaccination of over 800,000 school children in public schools nationwide.