Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta said on Saturday (Feb. 22) that there was no doubt that Iloilo Representative Janette Garin would get indicted over the second batch of Dengvaxia complaints.
“The evidence presented is overwhelming,” she said after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that probable cause was found to indict Garin and her co-respondents for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide in connection with the second batch of Dengvaxia complaints..
“The Dengvaxia victims expected full indictment and prosecution at the proper court with jurisdiction,” she added.
On behalf of the families of the victims, the PAO filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) complaints against Garin and her co-respondents over their alleged liability in the deaths of those who received shots of the Dengvaxia anti-denge vaccine.
The second batch of complaints concerns the deaths of eight children, namely, Roshaine Carino, Christine Joy Asuncion, Clarissa Alcantara, Erico Mendoza Leabres, Christine Mae de Guzman, John Paul Rafael, Michael Tablate, and Naomi Nimura.
Following the conduct of a preliminary investigation, a DOJ panel of prosecutors released a resolution over the second batch of complaints.
“The Panel of Prosecutors who conducted the preliminary investigation on the second batch of complaints for the deaths of children allegedly linked to the administration of the Dengvaxia vaccine found probable cause to indict former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette L. Garin and nine (9) other DOH officials, along with officials of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), and Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. (Sanofi), for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide,” the DOJ said in a statement.
“Similar to the Resolution on the first batch of Dengvaxia vaccine cases, the Panel found that there was ‘inexcusable lack of precaution’ on the part of Garin and the other respondent government officials in the ‘fast-tracking of the procurement process’ for the Dengvaxia Vaccine despite being aware of its low efficacy results and potential risks associated with its use,” it added.
Under the Revised Penal Code, the DOJ said “the penalty for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide is imprisonment of up to six (6) years for each count.”
The DOJ said the panel also found sufficient evidence to indict the president of Sanofi and four of its executives for violating the Consumer Act of the Philippines.