Former and active DoH officials sued over Dengvaxia vaccination programme

Administrative and civil cases were on Monday filed against officials of the Department of Health in connection with the dengue immunization programme by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), according to The Manila Times Online on Tuesday (Feb 6).

The cases were filed before the Office of the President on Monday by VACC and the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc against undersecretaries Carol Tanio, Gerardo Bayugo, Lilibeth David and Mario Villaverde; assistant secretaries Lyndon Lee Suy and Nestor Santiago; directors Laureano Cruz, Joyce Ducusin, Mar Wynn Bello, Leonila Gorgolon, Rio Magpantay, Ariel Valencia and Julius Lecciones.

The DoH officials were accused of committing grave misconduct and gross negligence for ill-advisedly, thoughtlessly or imprudently implementing the mass vaccination programme to combat dengue among children.

In the complaint, VACC and Vanguard also asked Malacanang to suspend from active duty the DoH officials pending investigation to prevent them from using their power to disrupt the probe.

The two groups questioned the procurement of Dengvaxia vaccine from French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur which they claimed was “fast-tracked” and might have violated the Government Procurement Reform Act.

VACC, on Friday, lodged a complaint with the Commission on the Elections against former president Benigno Aquino 3 rd , former health secretary Janette Garin, former budget secretary Florentino Abad, four ex-DoH officials and 13 active DoH officials over the Dengvaxia procurement.

On Monday, PAO helped the family of a vaccine recipient in filing a complaint against 31 officials allegedly responsible for the vaccination programme.