A BETTER DENGVAXIA STRATEGY
While it may seem to most at first glance (including myself) that the Dengvaxia fiasco is best handled by the immediate prosecution of all those involved, on second thought, perhaps a more practical understanding and a consequent adjustment in strategy might result in a greater benefit to all.
As the matter stands, while it may seem like the brave and righteous thing to do, it seems immediately prosecuting Sanofi may not really be the best option after all. There are two angles to this.
First, while it certainly may have somehow induced the government to acquire such a huge quantity and unwisely embark on a premature mass vaccination, to prove that such happened and to establish liability for Sanofi would be extremely difficult to prove and would more likely than not only result in tedious litigation that may take decades to produce a questionable outcome.
The same goes for proving Dengvaxia to be defective IN A COURT OF LAW AT THIS TIME. Even under the best of circumstances, it may take at least a decade or more to prove scientifically and conclusively that dengue is defective.
Sanofi has many more resources to spend in its defense than our government has to prosecute it. Worse, while our government is OBLIGED to strictly follow the law, Sanofi, as Big Pharma has been shown many time to be capable of, is under no such compunction and could very well, if not naturally, assist even destabilization or worse, if only to solve their problem.
Aside from that, and perhaps more to the point, making them co-defendants with Pnoy, Garin et al, would only place Sanofi's vast resources at their disposal, making it infinitely more complicated to prosecute.
So many things would have to be proven: conspiracy between Sanofi and Aquino et al and the exact manner of participation of Sanofi as well as the defectiveness of Dengvaxia.
On the other hand, if Sanofi was excluded, all that would have to be proven is the undue haste and unprecedented, highly questionable manner in which the program was conceived and implemented as well as the imprudence of having such a huge number of children vaccinated with a yet unproven drug.
These are charges that can easily be made to stick, as the Senate investigation showed. It may even allow or induce Sanofi to come forward with incriminating details and evidence that they would otherwise tend to hide. In any case, Aquino and co. would be obliged to fend for themselves.
This is not to say that Sanofi may not also be eventually charged at some later date if and when the proper opportunity presents itself.
Second, and perhaps more important to the victims, the immediate prosecution of Sanofi has apparently placed huge obstacles in providing the proper care and assistance to the victims. It also precludes the help and cooperation that may otherwise be expected from it. They would naturally balk at doing anything which might tend to prove their guilt and would do everything they could to prevent others from doing so.
This seems to be the only plausible explanation of the lukewarm attitude of DOH Secretary Duque and other medical professionals towards helping the victims.
It also appears that the President has been reluctant to comment on the matter for fear of simply complicating things. Ordering that Sanofi NOT BE prosecuted would also simply make matters worse. He may be waiting for the PAO to realize the complexities of the case on its own and adjust accordingly.
In any case, simply bewailing the DOH stance or obliging the President to make what may be an unwise move will not and has not seemed to help the victims in getting what they really need.
It appears that the only option left is simply for those among us who still have sympathy, compassion and human kindness, to take matters into our own hands and do the job that needs to be done in the meantime.
Rather than attempt to pin blame legally, let us simply ASSUME that Dengvaxia will be lethal to some and proceed accordingly.
Let us call on all FIlipino medical practitioners, experts and researchers, whether here or abroad to TAKE THE INITIATIVE TO ORGANIZE AND JOIN HANDS, not to prove that Dengvaxia is the cause but rather TO FIND AN EFFECTIVE CURE OR TREATMENT for an ailment that seems to affect only those who have been vaccinated BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.
If so much hue and cry can be raised over the deaths of probable criminals with the slogan that even one life matters, what more so to make an effort to save innocent children from a death they absolutely do not deserve?
Nobody will save the Filipinos from themselves except fellow FIlipinos.
Let us use this disaster as an opportunity to unite and show the world the nobility, ingenuity and expertise that Filipinos are capable of mustering when the chips are down.
So we can all be proud to be FIlipinos once more.