Former Health Secretary Janette Garin, one of the accused for the Dengvaxia-related deaths of two schoolchildren, failed to appear Friday before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court for an arraignment.
According to Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Acosta, Garin sent her lawyer to inform Branch 107 Judge Jose Bautista Jr. about her non-appearance in court due to “coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exposure.”
Only two of the 39 respondents — Ma. Lourdes Santiago of the Food and Drug Administration and Dr. Rosalind Vianzon of the Department of Health — were arraigned.
Garin and the other respondents filed motions to quash, seeking the dismissal of the cases.
PAO was able to submit its comment.
Bautista gave the prosecution panel at least 10 days to file its comment.
According to the PAO chief, the court has all the full jurisdiction over the two counts of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide after the arraignment of Santiago and Vianzon.
The arraignment of those who have filed motions to quash may be set before Jan. 27, 2021.
Garin was alleged to have funneled P3 billion to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center for the procurement of Dengvaxia vaccines for the mass vaccination of schoolchildren.
Some 159 children died allegedly due to the vaccine.
In November 2017, Sanofi Pasteur Inc. issued an official statement posted on its website, admitting that “the analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection.
“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 dengue infection.”
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