SAN ISIDRO, Nueva Ecija – The mother of a 12-year-old suspected victim of Dengvaxia from Barangay Sto. Cristo here maintained that government health personnel tried to get from her health documents of her son in exchange of an unspecified amount of “financial assistance.”
Janet Elipane said the offer was made a couple of days after the body of her son Melvin Karl was exhumed and autopsied with the help of Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) from the public cemetery of Alua here in February 2018.
Melvin Carl, whom Janet said has never been afflicted with serious illness until receiving the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, died on Dec. 5, 2017.
Elipane said she was summoned to the town’s rural health unit (RHU) where she was asked to open a bank account for the assistance. She did not name the health personnel.
“Hindi naman ginamit yung term na bayad. Parang tulong lang kaya lang may kapalit. Siyempre ganun na rin yun dahil hindi maibigay yung hiningi e hindi ka na rin bingyan” Elipane said.
She was initially willing to give photocopies of documents but the RHU personnel asked for original, including the vaccination card, she said.
For Elipane, it was a case of an attempt to buy out the evidences against people who may be indicted in connection with the Dengvaxia issue.
The RHU personnel allegedly made a follow up a few days but she again refused.
Health Sec. Francisco Duque earlier denied claims of alleged attempt to bribe family of Dengvaxia victim after PAO chief Persida Acosta broke the issue.
On DOH’s comment that Dengvaxia had nothing to do with the deaths being linked to the vaccine as documented by the PAO, Elipane lamented: “Diyos ko, ano pa ba namang patunay ang hinihingi nila?”