MANILA – The parents of the children who died allegedly after being inoculated with Dengvaxia on Friday appealed anew for justice from Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla.
In a press conference at the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), the “Samahan ng mga Magulang Anak ay Biktima ng Dengvaxia" (Association of Parents whose Children were Victims of Dengvaxia) made the statement after reports came out on Dec. 5, 2022 quoting DOJ Undersecretary Jesse Hermogenes Andres, a former lawyer of former Department of Health Secretary and now Iloilo Congresswoman Janette Garin, who is one of the respondents in the Dengvaxia cases.
The group said Andres was supposedly quoted as saying: "Naayos na ang usapin patungkol sa pagkakaroon ng ‘conflict of interest’ sa mga kasong may kinalaman sa Dengvaxia (the issue about the supposed ‘conflict of interest” in the cases involving Dengvaxia were already settled).”
“Naniniwala po kami na kayo (Sec. Remulla) ay makatarungang tao kaya po kayo inilagay diyan ng Pangulong Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos, Jr. Kagaya ng Pangulo, kami rin ay nananalig sa inyong katapatan sa hustisya. Tulungan nyo po kami Mahal na SOJ Boying, Sir (We believe that you (Remulla) is a judicious person the reason why you were appointed there by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. Like the President, we also believe in your loyalty to justice. Please help us Dear SOJ Boying, Sir)," said the group's leader Annalyn Ybonia.
The group asked for the inhibition of Andres and the panel of state prosecutors from the cases of the children who died because of Dengvaxia.
The group emphasized that it has lost its trust in the panel of state prosecutors, saying it has not seen the appropriate “concern” from the panel, given that the latter has already dismissed most of the cases related to the incident.
For her part, Sumachen Dominguez, the mother of survivor-victim James Benedict Dominguez, clarified that their group was not asking for Andres to resign from his post but only to inhibit from the Dengvaxia cases.
“Iyon lamang ang aming hiling. Ito ay dahil sa aming agam-agam na mawawalan ng saysay ang aming ipinaglalaban kapag mananatili ang paglititis ng aming mga kaso sa ilalim ng pamumuno ng dating abogado ng aming isinasakdal na si Dr. Garin (That’s only our appeal. This is because of our worries that our fight will be meaningless if the prosecution of our cases will remain in the leadership of the former lawyer of our respondent Dr. Garin),” Dominguez said.
As of Nov. 11, 2022, a total of 157 Dengvaxia cases have been filed before the QC Regional Trial Court, eight cases are for filing, and 24 cases have been dismissed.
Of the 24 dismissed cases, one was dismissed because “no death certificate was attached.” A motion for reconsideration was filed on Oct. 25, 2022. (PNA)