By Jeffrey Damicog
The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) has autopsied 149 persons who died after receiving shots of the still experimental anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
PAO Chief Persida Acosta identified the latest victim to be autopsied as 13-year-old girl Shekina Venice Arciaga who hails from Quezon City.
Acosta said the PAO forensic team conducted an autopsy on the victim on Thursday.
“She is the 149th victim autopsied by the PAO,” said Acosta.
The PAO chief said Arciaga passed away last October 28 after suffering from severe dengue despite getting shots of the anti-dengue vaccine.
“Not one but three doses of Dengvaxia ang bata (The child got not just one but three doses of Dengvaxia),” Acosta said.
Just before the child died, Acosta learned that Arciaga told her mother: “Nanay bakit sabi nila hindi ako magkaka-dengue. Bakit nagka-dengue ako (they told me I will not get dengue. But why did I get dengue?).”
Aside from the 149 victims autopsied by PAO, Acosta lamented there have been other victims who died but their respective families were either hesitant to file suits or have settled for the P50,000 given to them by the government as support.
Acosta vowed that the PAO will continue filing cases against those who should be held liable for the deaths of the Dengvaxia victims.
PAO, on behalf of the families of the victims, filed on Monday six more complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the deaths of six school children, namely, Renelyn Avellanosa, Psalm Dioquino, Lalaine Laylay, Levie Losanga, Theresa Romano, and Lennon Carl Ribo.
This brings to 55 the number of complaints filed by PAO concerning 54 persons who died and one child who survived after getting shots of Dengvaxia.