Dengvaxia victims’ kin call for Duque ouster

September 25, 2018
Francisco Duque III

FAMILIES of “Dengvaxia death victims” have renewed their appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte to replace Health Secretary Francisco Duque.

They claimed that Duque has not prevented futher “Dengvaxia deaths”, pointing out the President would do them a favor by appointing a more responsive official who can help them save the lives of their children injected with the vaccine. 

Yesterday, PAO forensic experts autopsied three alleged Dengvaxia victims.

The parents said Duque have not eased their grief over the fate of their children inoculated with the vaccine.     These children should have been given immediate medical treatment after manifesting the Dengvaxia symptoms, they added. 

The parents had filed a complaint for obstruction of justice against Duque for allegedly preventing further investigation into the deaths of children inoculated with the anti-dengue Dengvaxia vaccine.

Complainants Ariel and Ruby Hedia are the parents of 13-year-old Abbie who died last February, three months after receiving Dengvaxia in November 2017. They were represented by the Public Attorneys’ Office (PAO).

Based on the complaint, Duque issued Administrative Order (AO) Numbers 2018-0007 and 2018-0147 to prevent the PAO from further investigating the deaths possibly caused by Dengvaxia.

The first order required that autopsy of victims be conducted by DoH teams while the second one provided for P50,000 benefits for each family of victims through the department’s Public Assistance Unit (PAU) that reportedly caused confusion, especially to victims being assisted by the PAO.

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