Group seeks justice for victims of anti-dengue vaccine fiasco
In a press conference on Monday, Feb. 12, the Coalition for People’s Right to Health (CPRH) reiterated that while the investigation on what has led to the fiasco is ongoing, the government must also exert efforts to address the fears of the parents and their children. (Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil/ Bulatlat)

MANILA — Members of the Coalition for People’s Right to Health (CPRH) trooped recently to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Padre Faura, Manila to call for justice to the victims of the Dengvaxia fiasco.

CPRH said it is not enough that the masterminds of the scam are exposed, warning that the possibility of a whitewash is ever-present.

The alliance of health professionals, workers, and non-government organizations (NGOs) also urged the Department of Health (DOH) to step up its efforts in addressing the needs of the vaccinated children.

Dr. Eleanor Jara, CPRH co-convener, said, “The Dengvaxia fiasco is not a product of parents’ or health advocates’ hysteria. It is a public health disaster and the current government officials have the capability and the obligation to step-up its efforts, and then respond to the needs of the people. On the ground, parents remain wary of the efforts of the DOH since aside from easily consumable dengue kits, no other concrete plans have been presented to them.”

Regarding the DOJ›s move to prosecute and file cases against former officials led by President Benigno Aquino III, Health Secretary Janette Garin and Budget Secretary Butch Abad, CPRH said justice must be served without fear or favor, or else the Filipino people would once again lose trust in the justice system.

“The quest for justice must not be selective. For example, we must remember that former Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial continued the program from 2016 to 2017 despite the warnings, thus making the current DOH administration still liable for the fate of the vaccinated children. Just because she is an appointee of President Duterte doesn’t make her immune. On the other hand, the people must unite to fight the injustices brought about by the collusion of government neglect and corporate greed. An impending whitewash and cover-up is on the horizon, and the people must continue to call for accountability, or else the government is bound to repeat the mistake of liberating corrupt officials,” Jara concluded.