IF she has her way, former Health Secretary Janette L. Garin prefers to have the Dengvaxia row be brought to court rather than in the Senate investigation.
Garin issued the statement after she filed before Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor’s Office libel charges against former Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell- Ubial and three others over alleged “malicious statements” on the Dengvaxia row.
“Bring the cases to court. [The] proper venue are the courts where all evidence will be accepted and all voices heard. This will also remove the discussions on air and stop the hysteria and panic [which are] both detrimental to public health,” Garin said.
Charged with Ubial in individual complaints were former Health Undersecretary Teodoro J. Herbosa, former Ubial consultant Francisco Cruz and physician Antonio Leachon.
“I am filing this complaint because I felt so much maligned and dishonored by the malicious statements,” Garin said in her complaint-affidavit against Ubial.
Garin also said Cruz’s allegations of “mafia” at the DOH with her as among the alleged involved is not only malicious but untrue.
“To call me and other Department of Health (DOH) officials as belonging to a mafia is purely a malicious statement without any basis,” excerpts of the complaint-affidavit stated.
The charges subscribed before Prosecutor Leo Genova are the second round of complaints following the January 26th filing also of Garin against Cruz.
Ubial, on the other hand, was also named respondent in a libel case and violation of cybercrime law filed by Rep. Oscar S. Garin Jr. of the First District of Iloilo.
Both chambers of Congress have been looking into the possible rush in the process by which the Dengvaxia vaccine manufactured by French firm Sanofi Pasteur was purchased by the Aquino administration and used in a P3.5-billion program during the presidential campaign period.
The dengue mass immunization program has been the subject of scrutiny after Sanofi admitted that its product could pose greater risk to those who received the vaccine, but had not been previously infected by the virus. The review came in November 2017 after a six-year study of the new vaccine.
At a joint House panel hearing on Monday, former President Benigno S. Aquino III particularly criticized a “noisy” person, whose “certification is seemingly just a notch above the diplomas for sale over at Recto.”
He was apparently referring to Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Forensics Head Erwin Erfe, who conducted autopsies on Dengvaxia recipients who later died.
Aquino called on those opinions of experts to take precedence, a message echoed by Garin.
“Let us continue probes by the National Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health. The DOH should be on top of the situation. The public should be listening to them,” Garin said.
The former health secretary is also facing a case filed by the PAO over the Dengvaxia program.