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SC asked to merge Dengvaxia cases

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Relatives of Dengvaxia victims hold a picture of their loved ones at the filing at the DOJ office in Manila on October 30, 2018. — PHLSTAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

THE Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) has asked the Supreme Court to resolve a plea to consolidate cases on deaths attributed Dengvaxia vaccination into one family court.

In a filing, PAO asked the high court to consolidate and transfer seven cases filed in separate courts and one case that will soon be filed in a Quezon City trial court.

The agency said this would quicken the administration of justice and will favor all parties.

PAO also cited conflicting orders on jurisdiction coming from several courts in San Pedro in Laguna province, Muntinlupa City and Caloocan City.

Prosecutor General Benedicto A. Malcontento through the Office of the Solicitor General has filed a petition before a Caloocan court and this would probably be followed by more petitions after the cases are dismissed in first-level courts for lack of jurisdiction.

“The prosecution of the criminal cases filed in connection with the Dengvaxia vaccine fiasco will be delayed and will drag on for a very long time, to the prejudice of the herein petitioners who are seeking justice for the death and injuries of their respective children,” according to the PAO filing.




PAO, which represents families of the victims, said consolidating the cases “will be more to the advantage of all parties and will further the orderly administration of justice as the trial of the said cases will be lodged in one family court.”

The Justice department in February indicted former Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin and 19 others for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide over eight death linked to the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Seven cases were filed in different courts in Quezon City, Laguna, Bataan, Muntinlupa City and Caloocan City. One case is yet to be filed. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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