Dengvaxia victims to file charges vs Angara, Drilon


RELATIVES of school children whose deaths were linked to the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine have threatened to file a complaint against Senators Sonny Angara and Franklin Drilon for oppression and grave abuse of authority.

Should the budget insertion be not vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte, the kin of 160 Dengvaxia “victims” and seven Public Attorney’s Office permanent employees from the Forensic Laboratory said they would seek a legal remedy.

The Forensic Laboratory’s employees with plantilla position, led by Dr. Alexi Angelo Sulit and Dr. John King Soliman, asked the President to heed their appeal to veto the “illegal” provision of the two senators under the 2021 national budget that would effectively abolish the Forensic Laboratory of PAO in January 2021.

They said Drilon and Angara should be held accountable for the illegal insertion, citing permanent employees are protected under the Civil Service laws, and rules and regulations.

Annie Gabito, Volunteers against Crime and Corruption coordinator, said the parents are determined to pursue an administrative and criminal complaint against Drilon and Angara.

Dr. Erwin Erfe, PAO Forensic Laboratory head, fears for dismissal of the 206 civil and criminal cases filed against ex-health secretary Janette Garin and 38 others before the Department of Justice and various courts.
“Who holds the evidence? It is the Forensic Division,” he told a media briefing.

PAO chief Persida Acosta said the insertion is “illegal and contrary to law and violation of the Civil Service Commission’s rules and regulations, unconstitutional rider, despotic, whimsical and vindictive.”

She sent President Rodrigo Duterte a fourth extremely urgent letter-request, citing Republic Act 9406 (PAO Law), RA 9745 (Anti-Torture Law) and RA 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act).

Oppression is an extreme violation of CSC’s Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, she said.

Acosta mentioned a jurisprudence citing “Oppression is also known as grave abuse of authority, which is a misdemeanor committed by a public officer, who under color of his office, wrongfully inflicts upon any person any bodily harm, imprisonment or other injury. It is an act of cruelty, severity, or excessive use of authority.”

PAO’s 13 million indigent clients a year would suffer once the budget for its Forensic Laboratory is “unconstitutionally” removed, Erfe lamented.

Garin and 38 other individuals are facing multiple counts of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and violation of the anti-torture law for the deaths of school children who were inoculated with the Dengvaxia vaccines in 2016 until 2018. DALISAY NOLASCO

Photo: BusinessWorld

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