Garin wants DOJ to junk 'malicious' Dengvaxia raps

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 25) — Former Health Secretary Janette Garin asked the Department of Justice on Monday to junk the criminal charges filed against her over the allegedly faulty Dengvaxia vaccine.

Garin, along with current Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and 38 others, faces a complaint for torture, obstruction of justice, graft and reckless imprudence resulting in homicide filed by the relatives of the alleged victims of Dengvaxia.

In her counter-affidavit, Garin insisted that there was no negligence in the decision to use Dengvaxia for a national dengue immunization program.

"Contrary to the malicious, twisted and baseless accusations of the complainants and the corresponding report and recommendation memorandum (Public Attorney's Office Report and Memorandum), the Dengue Immunization Program was implemented after a thorough evaluation process as to its necessity and urgency, as well as the readiness of the government to undertake the same," read her counter-affidavit.

She explained the decision was based on available data at the time and that they have always acted "with the best interest of the people and the government in mind and exercised the diligence required of us as administration of public health.

Meantime, DOJ prosecutors reprimanded Acosta for bringing parents of alleged victims of Dengvaxia to the preliminary hearing even though they are not parties to the case. They were told to leave the room where the proceeding was done because it had become unnecessarily crowded. Prosecutors reminded Acosta that there are only nine complainants in the case and there was no need to bring others to case proceedings.

Garin, along with former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and other former officials face separate cases before the DOJ for multiple homicide and physical injuries through criminal negligence, graft, technical malversation, and violation of the procurement law in connection with the P3.5-billion purchase of the controversial anti-dengue vaccine.