Philippines: Courts dismiss complaints filed against former Health secretary in connection with Dengvaxia

10 Jun, 2019
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Three Metropolitan Trial Courts recently dismissed complaints filed against former Health secretary Janette Garin and other officials in connection with Dengvaxia cases for lack of jurisdiction.

Judges Nelvin Asi, Chelsea Segunda Dirige and Marlo Bermejo Campanilla of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) Branches 114 and 112 of Muntinlupa City and Branch 83 of Caloocan City, respectively, dismissed the cases on omnibus motions filed by accused Melody Zamudio, former officer in charge of the Center for Drug Regulation and Research of the Food and Drug Administration — an agency under the Health department.

A relative of one of the Dengvaxia victims looks at photos of children who allegedly died because of the anti-dengue vaccine. PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA

Emmanuel Brotarlo, the legal counsel of Zamudio, had argued that under Republic Act 10660 that amended Presidential Decree 1606, jurisdiction belonged to the Sandiganbayan since some of the accused public officials occupied positions with Salary Grade 27 or higher, and that they were being charged for acts allegedly committed in relation to their office.

In their respective orders of dismissal, the three MTC judges pointed out that while Garin occupied a position with Salary Grade 31 and she and the other accused were charged for acts allegedly committed in relation to their office, jurisdiction belonged to the regular Regional Trial Court.

The judges, however, noted that the charges did not allege bribery or damage to the government exceeding P1,000,000 to qualify their cases to be handled by the Sandiganbayan.

At least 130 deaths had been attributed to the Dengvaxia vaccine. Recently, several Quezon City courts consolidated all Dengvaxia cases.
This entry was posted on Monday, June 10th, 2019 at 6:12 am and is filed under Latest News.

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