A Quezon City trial court has ordered a physician and a lawyer to testify on why they allegedly tried to stop the COVID-19 vaccination on children aged five to 11 years old.
Dr. Benigno Agbayani Jr. of the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines and the Manila Doctor’s Hospital expressed belief that the pandemic is about to end and there was no need to rush the vaccination of children 5-11 years old.
Revelyn Dacpano, Public Attorney’s Office-National Capital Region director, cross-examined Agbayani, asking the physician about his advocacy expressed when he was invited as a resource person in a congressional inquiry.
Agbayani indicated that he was against “mandatory or coerced” vaccines, unless the vaccines are proven truly safe and efficacious and vetted by long-term and independent studies.”
“I respectfully pray before this Honorable Court to order the stop of the inoculation of children, considering that the COVID-19 vaccine is only experimental. The presence of innate immunity in a younger Philippine population and considering that they also don’t smoke, drink alcohol and rarely lack exercise and sleep, there is no need to rush their inoculation until after its safety and efficacy has been duly established and proven,” Agbayani told Regional Trial Court Judge Maria Cherell Sansaet.
He said he has been a researcher of science and medicine, particularly about COVID-19. He said he has personal reasons on why he wanted to share his knowledge about the pandemic that include the deaths of some of his close colleagues, among them an 83-year-old diabetic mother and his seven-year-old child.
Lawyer Glenn Chong, a former Biliran congressman, also appeared before the court to support the petition of ex-broadcast journalist Dominic Almelor, father of a seven-year-old boy, and
Girlie Samonte, a mother of two boys, for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other health officials for the vaccination of children five-11 years old.
Chong said under Republic Act No. 11 or “An Act Establishing COVID-19 Vaccination Program, the Department of Health had no legal basis to issue its order to vaccinate children aged five-11 years old.”
With help from PAO, 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.”