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Duque lambasts PAO over ‘malicious’ Dengvaxia complaint

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday blasted the Public Attorney’s Office for implicating him in the new complaint relative to the Dengvaxia controversy.

PAO filed charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and violation of the Anti-Torture Act against Duque and 35 other officials.

Duque called such move as “malicious” and questioned PAO Chief Persida Acosta for not including former health secretary Paulyn Ubial in the complaint.

“I find it malicious. I think she (Ubial) is equally liable because she continued it despite knowing the red flag. She knew there are risks,” Duque exclaimed.

Among the respondents in the case are former Health Secretary Janette Garin, officials of Sanofi Pasteur and Zuileg Pharma, the local distributor of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.

Duque maintained he had nothing to do with the implementation of the dengue immunization program since he was only appointed as Department of Health secretary in October last year.

Nevertheless, the Health chief said he is ready to face the charges filed against him. — UNTV News & Rescue

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PAO to exclude teachers, health workers in criminal cases over Dengvaxia mess

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

A health worker injects Dengvaxia

MANILA, Philippines — Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Atty. Persida Acosta has assured teachers and health workers that they will not be included in the criminal charges that they are preparing.

Meanwhile, the PAO forensic expert has discovered severe symptoms among victims of Dengvaxia.

The Public Attorney’s Office is still drafting the criminal complaint against the persons responsible for the Dengvaxia mess.

But even this early, they already cleared the health workers and teachers who help in the inoculation of over 800,000 pupils.

PAO chief Atty. Persida Acosta said they were just deceived that it was for the good of the children.

“We will not charge you because you were only misled because it had the blessings of DOH (Department of Health) then,” said Acosta.

But Acosta assured the persons behind the anti-dengue vaccination program will be held accountable.

“I don’t want to announce yet who will be charged but the public already knew who are liable for the death of these children.

The PAO chief also encouraged health officers to declare the real cause of death in the death certificate whenever a child died of severe dengue.

The PAO forensic laboratory has completed the analysis of seven victims.

According to PAO Forensic Laboratory head, Dr. Erwin Erfe, they found a pattern in the cases of the children from the time they were inoculated with Dengvaxia until they eventually fell sick and died.

“Within the 6 month period after the vaccination, the child will fall sick and eventually died. From the onset of symptoms, until the child dies, it took 12, 24 or 48 hours. It was quick,” said Dr. Erfe.

He found the case of a 13-year old from Balanga, Bataan the most disturbing as the victim died just 12 hours after showing symptoms of dengue.

The victim has severe bleeding in the brain.

He is asking experts to study the case and make a treatment protocol.

“That’s what we are looking at: to save the children will contract the disease in the future. Treatment should be quick as we have seen this is no joke. It’s very strange,” said Erfe.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III encouraged the accusers to produce evidence of the so-called mafia operating inside his agency.

He says they can file charges if indeed they really have evidence to back it up.

Nonetheless, Duque will initiate a probe into the contracts of the previous administration.

Last Saturday, former DOH consultant Dr. Francis Cruz revealed that health officials allegedly conspired and benefited from the purchase of Dengvaxia. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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PAO, SolGen can appeal to the President to impede death sentence

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, March 3rd, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) is relieved to know that an amendment has been included in Section 8 of the Death Penalty Bill that allows the PAO and Solicitor General (SolGen) to appeal to the President should they want to stop a death penalty from being carried out.

PAO Chief Atty. Persida Acosta said they are thankful that the bill has a safeguard especially for falsely accused people.

“May safeguard kung sakaling may duda ang taong bayan na hindi dapat mabitay ang isang tao, mapipigilan ang pagbitay.”

(There is a safeguard, in case people have doubts about a person’s conviction , we can impede the death sentence.)

WATCH: Pres. Duterte : Death penalty deterrence to crime

Kabayan Partylist Representative Harry Roque cited a study conducted by the Supreme Court saying that a death sentence had been mistakenly given to death row convicts before.

“Nagkaroon ng pag-aaral ang Korte Suprema noong panahon na tayo ay may parusang bitay 71%, pito sa sampung pinataw na death penalty ay mayroong pagkakamali na nagawa ang hukuman.”

(The Supreme Court conducted a study before when we still had the death penalty, 71% or 7 out of 10 was mistakenly accused by the court.)

Roque said, the death penalty must not be implemented until there is decent justice system in the country.

WATCH: To reinstate death penalty is against the International Law on Human Rights – CHR

According to the lawmaker, the moral ascendancy of the Philippines may be lost if the Death Penalty Bill becomes a law.

“Ito po ay napakalakas na argumento laban sa death penalty kung nais natin matulungan ang mga kababayan nating ibibitay (mga OFW sa ibang bansa), huwag po nating ibalik ang death penalty dahil pwede po nating sabihin sa iba’t ibang bansa na sa ating bayan wala tayong death penalty at on humanitarian grounds sana’y itigil yan.”

(This is a strong argument against death penalty. If we want to help OFW’s included in the death row, we must not implement the death penalty because then we can say to other nations that in our country we don’t have death penalty and on humanitarian grounds it should be stopped.)

Currently there are 12 million OFWs around the globe and 80 of them are in the death row. — Mon Jocson / UNTV News and Rescue

WATCH: Reps. Lito Atienza and Fred Castro weigh in on the restoration of death penalty

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SC aspirants share views on Marcos burial, extra-judicial killings

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2016

The aspirants for the Supreme Courts position to be left by the retiring Associate Justices Jose Perez and Arturo Brion.

The aspirants for the Supreme Courts position to be left by the retiring Associate Justices Jose Perez and Arturo Brion.

MANILA Philippines — Applicants for justice positions at the Supreme Court faced the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in a public interview.

This is part of the process of choosing the replacements for retiring Associate Justices Jose Perez and Arturo Brion in December.

In the interview of the JBC panel, most of the applicants said they are in favor of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

RELATED: Duterte: Marcos burial in Heroes’ Cemetery, in accordance with the law 

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Atty. Persida Acosta and Sandiganbayan Justice Samuel Martires are among those who agreed, while Atty. Linda Jimeno said the decision of the court has to be respected.

On the issue of extra-judicial killings (EJK), Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Japar Dimaampao said such killings have no place in society while Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Rowena Apao-adlawan believes the deaths during police operations cannot be considered as EJK cases.

Acosta answered the issue that she is close to the president and that she is being reported as among those being considered for the post.

She promised to be independent minded in case of being appointed by President Duterte.

“Di ba sabi ko kahit ka-religion ko, dinismiss ko from service, sinuspende ko… dahil di ka dapat pumanig pag magsama siya, pairalin mo ang batas, rule of law.”

(As I said before, there was an instance where even though we have the same religion , I dismiss that person from service. I suspended that person because you should not side with them when they’re in the wrong. You should uphold the rule of law.)

WATCH: De Lima questions PAO assistance extended to house probe witnesses 

Overall, there are 15 applicants for the upcoming vacant positions of the Supreme Court.

After the public interviews, the JBC will vote on the shortlist of candidates, from which President Duterte will choose who will replace the retiring justices of the Supreme Court.

(RODERIC MENDOZA / UNTV News)

 

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