UDK No. 16838. May 11, 2021
A petition for writ of mandamus is filed by Pedrito Nepomuceno (petitioner) against respondents President Rodrigo Duterte, Health Secretary Francisco Duque, and Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. (Ret.), as Chief Implementer of the National Task Force against COVID-19 (respondents), seeking to compel respondents to observe the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules on the acquisition, procurement and use of drugs, particularly on the issue of trials and procurement and use of COVID-19 vaccines, namely, the Sinovac vaccines and for them to properly observe the procurement law.
At the core of the petition is the concern raised by petitioner over the plan announced by the national government to procure vaccines produced by Sinovac (Sinovac vaccine) for distribution and administration to the Filipino people in order to contain the spread of infection brought about by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the coronavirus disease of COVID-19. This is despite reports raising doubts on the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine and the absence of a concrete study on how it really fares in addressing the COVID-19 disease.