The real experts have spoken.
We have been wanting to write about the Dengue vaccine mess since last year but for obvious lack of knowledge or expertise on the matter, we decided to hold our piece and waited for people who can be considered authorities on this serious issue to address it.
In the meantime, while waiting for authoritative and credible resource persons to shed light on the problem, a well-orchestrated plot to sow fear and create a widespread hysteria was launched by entities and individuals with ill motives and in connivance with some veteran media personalities.
As early as December 3, 2017, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has likened the mass vaccination of Dengvaxia to the commission of genocide.
Seriously, VACC? Genocide? Little knowledge, indeed, is a dangerous thing.
Thereafter, the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), citing a questionable mandate and despite the absence of expertise on infectious diseases, pathology and the science of forensics, began exhuming and examining dead bodies of children suspected of dying due to Dengvaxia.
Fourteen dead children, so far, and all died because of the Dengue vaccine. That is if we will believe the ambulance-chasing chief of PAO Persida Rueda-Acosta and the self-declared “forensic experts” of her office.
And every time a body is exhumed, a special segment is allotted for the issue by TV Patrol where journalists Noli De Castro and Ted Failon, with all the drama effect and emotional appeal, are given air time on national television to sensationalize or, worse, politicize what is supposed to be a purely health concern.
Fourteen dead children and counting. For several weeks already, TV Patrol have been bombarding us with news updates of another purported casualty of Dengvaxia, interviewing parents of children and allowing them to rant against the government for supposedly facilitating the death of their loved ones.
And each time a Dengvaxia segment is shown, it features an interview with Dr. Erwin Erfe, the head of PAO “forensics team”, whose credentials and qualification to be an expert on this matter are put in serious doubt after doctors from the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP PGH) released their own findings stating that Erfe was “wrong in practically all the 14 children” that he and his team diagnosed as having dengue as a complication of Dengvaxia.
So who is Dr. Erfe and, aside from his unexplainable closeness with Persida Acosta, why was he hired by PAO to be its in-house forensic expert?
Erfe is both a lawyer and physician. But he is definitely not a forensic pathologist.
Dra. Raquel Fortun, one of the few legitimate and recognized forensic pathologists in the country, had been harping on Erfe’s qualification to be considered a forensic expert.
Dr. Maria Cecilia Lim, another legitimate and respected forensic pathologist in the country, asserted that one cannot learn and be an expert in conducting autopsy by simply attending forensic workshops and seminars. This is an obvious swipe at Erfe who, in desperately trying to prove his claim as an “expert” in the field of autopsy and forensics, mentions the workshops and seminars that he had attended in the past.
When two of the most established and acknowledged forensic pathologists in the country have been questioning the apparent lack of qualification of someone presenting himself to be a “forensic expert,” who would you believe?
Erfe also claims that he is a Certified Forensic Physician of American College of Forensic Examiners Institute (ACFEI). However, in the August 31, 2017, article of the Washington Post entitled The Emperor Of Junk Science Forensics Has Died, it exposed ACFEI as a “certification mill” that has been issuing certifications to people claiming to be “forensic experts” without carefully scrutinizing and thoroughly verifying the educational background, field of expertise, specialization, credentials and other qualifications of the people being given such certificates.
The next valid question that need to be addressed is the other members of the so-called PAO forensic team. Who are they and what are their qualifications to be allowed to conduct autopsies and examination of dead bodies? Aside from Erfe and his principal Acosta who has been enjoying all the media mileage and limelight at the expense of the families of the dead bodies exhumed, no one from the purported PAO forensic team has come forward to explain or defend the team’s findings and diagnosis.
According to insiders within the PAO, it is only Erfe who is a doctor in the team and the others who have been assisting in conducting procedures are ordinary employees of the office like the head of the personnel section in the central office, Acosta’s official photographer and Acosta herself.
This information is somewhat validated by this photo of Acosta wearing a surgical apparel.
In light of the findings of the doctors from the UP PGH that “none of the deaths of the 14 children autopsied were proven to be due to
Dengvaxia,” we join the call for the PAO to stop the exhumation and autopsies of suspected Dengvaxia victims.
We call on the PAO, the VACC and TV Patrol’s Failon and De Castro to stop the reckless and irresponsible dissemination of wrong information with the ultimate objective of agitating the people to be angry with former public officials associated with the government of Noynoy Aquino.
We specifically call on Persida Acosta to stop using PAO, an entity composed of selfless, competent and dedicated lawyers zealously defending the marginalized, as an instrument in the furtherance of her sinister scheme of persecuting the previous administration.
We know what Acosta, her comrades-in-arms in the VACC, and her unethical friends from the media are up to. Stop the fishing expedition, stop the political witch-hunt.