More parents have joined ex-broadcast journalist Dominic Almelor and a mother of two, Girlie Samonte, to seek a temporary restraining order before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court stopping the vaccination of children five to 11 years old.
Joel Corpuz, Jonalyn Masula, Analyn Ebona, Gemmilyn Kayte Millare, Marlene Solamo, Ma. Cristina Nayve, Rowena Polistico, Vilma Hinayon, Honey-Dee Rosal, Danilo Bautista, Raymond Ancheta, Terry Barbacena, Melodie Rose Gaton, Virgie Losanga and Edwin Asong filed a motion for leave to intervene with herein-incorporated petition-in-intervention before Branch 96.
“A TRO order and/or writ of preliminary injunction be issued to enjoin the Department of Health from rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination program for children five to 11 years old,” the motion read.
With help from the Public Attorney’s Office, the petitioners said “notably, in the DOH website, the latter admitted that the COVID-19 vaccine has risks of complications but severe or life-threatening reactions are extremely rare. This ‘rare thing’ cannot be taken for granted by the herein petitioners-intervenors,” it added.
For its part, the Office of the Solicitor General asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Branch 96, to dismiss the petition of the Public Attorney’s Office to enjoin the roll-out of the pediatric vaccination program.
In a 21-page-comment to the petition filed by Almelor and Samonte through the PAO, Solicitor General Jose Calida stressed the petitioners and the court should respect the choice of parents who want to have their children vaccinated.
Calida said the general public stood to suffer “great and irreparable injury” if an injunction was issued.
“To prevent willing parents and children from participating in the DOH’s pediatric vaccine roll-out would risk keeping these children vulnerable to severe cases of COVID-19,” Calida argued.
“These children, who could otherwise be protected from serious health implications, would thus stand to suffer grave and irreparable injury.
Their parents, who should be able to exercise their right to choose how to care for and protect their children, would also undoubtedly suffer from not being able to make that choice,” the chief state lawyer said.
Calida agreed that parents’ rights to choose not to vaccinate their children should be respected, but he countered that the rights of the parents who want to have their children vaccinated should also be respected.
“The apprehension of two parents should not serve to deprive every other parent of their choice to protect their children through vaccination. It would work severe injustice and would ironically undermine the parental authority petitioners herein hold in such high regard,” the OSG pointed out.