PAO chief Acosta says Panelo misquoted on Dengvaxia issue

Politics & Governance

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief lawyer Persida Acosta said in an interview with GMA News TV’s Unang Balita that Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was just misquoted regarding the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

“Alam ko na-misquote lang si Secretary Panelo ‘dyan dahil ang nagsalita at nagrekomenda ay nasasakdal,” Acosta said. “Si Secretary Garin nasasakdal na yan. Nakapiyansa lang ‘yan. Hindi siya credible na mag-suggest dahil siya ay isang akusado at respondent sa mga Dengvaxia dead victims cases.” 

“Depensa niya yan kasi dahil pag nabalik sasabihin niya sa korte, ‘O, nabalik’,” she added.

“Nabasa ko yung mga excerpts. Sabi niya open to anything ang Palasyo basta ikabubuti pero pag-aaralan ‘yan. Hindi sinabing ibalik. Mini-misquote siya na ibalik na,” Acosta said.


Secretary Panelo said on August 1 said “iyong akin eh suggestion lamang dahil kung—hindi ba sabi nila na spread ng dengue grabe na naman. We need a vaccine for that. So kung walang—kailangan maghanap talaga tayo ng vaccine. Pero kung wala pa at alam naman natin iyong Dengvaxia puwede doon sa mga dati nang may dengue at wala tayong naririnig na hindi… o eh ‘di why don’t we try it. Iko-consider lang natin, we have to make a stand. As I said earlier, it needs/requires a serious study before we can use it.”

“I think the pharmaceutical itself said na iyon pala, kailangan iyon ginagamit lang doon sa mayroon nang dengue, nagkaroon na. But apparently, hindi nasabi nila iyon o hindi nalaman ng mga kumuha ng Dengvaxia sa previous administration kaya nagkaproblema. And then after that, nagkaroon ng subsequent deaths na inaakala na galing doon. But lumalabas sa mga experts, sinasabi nila na wala pang conclusive finding na iyong Dengvaxia caused the deaths of those people,” Panelo said.

“So kung iyon ang situation, if it’s true that Dengvaxia is effective only to those who have suffered dengue, ‘di puwede pala. Kailangan lang alam natin na iyong gagamit noon eh nagkaroon ng dengue, otherwise baka may problema. Hindi naman nga nila sinabi na mamamatay or magkakaroon lang ng komplikasyon siguro,” he said.

“Now iyong cause naman ng death, hindi pa rin natin alam kasi sinasabi hanggang ngayon eh hindi pa sure. So siguro, if it’s really necessary to use a vaccine that will stop the dengue spread, what we should do perhaps – and I would suggest that personally – ‘di ‘yung Dengvaxia gagamitin lang natin doon sa mga alam na nating nagkaroon ng dengue; kasi iyon ang sigurado eh, iyon ang totoong gamot – iyon ang sitwasyon,” he added.