Focus on the truth, ex-DOH chief appeals to Senators
Former Health Secretary Janette Garin appealed to Senators on Monday to “focus on the truth” about the controversial Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine before signing the committee report released by Senator Richard Gordon.
Garin said the public should not dismiss the fact that dengue was the problem in the country when the government’s anti-dengue program using Dengvaxia was launched.
“My appeal is that, we look at the truth, we focus on the truth, tingan po natin ang katotohanan at ang buong katotohanan,” Garin said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“Ang katotohanan ay dengue was the problem. Pilit natin kinakalimutan ‘yung panahon na punong-puno ang mga hospital, ang daming namamatay – no medicine, no cure,” she added.
On Sunday, Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee that investigated the Dengvaxia controversy, said he expected at least 10 senators to sign the draft report that would hold Garin as well as former President Benigno Aquino, former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and other officials liable on the alleged Dengvaxia fiasco.
According to Gordon, four senators had already signed the committee report –Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senator JV Ejercito, Senator Gregorio Honasan II, and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
The draft report recommends the prosecution of Garin, Aquino, and Abad, among others, “for all the tragedy, damage and possible deaths” that resulted from the Dengvaxia vaccine.
“Aquino, Garin, Abad and other officials are primary conspirators and must be held criminally liable because as succinctly put by the Old Spanish legal maxim ‘El que es causa dela causa, es causa del mal causado’ – he who is the cause of the case, is the cause of the evil caused – and must be prosecuted for all the tragedy, damage and possible deaths resulting from the Dengvaxia mass vaccination program,” Gordon said, reading from the draft report.
The draft report released on Wednesday noted that Aquino, Garin, Abad, and other former officials should be charged for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. It added that a case should also be filed against Dr. Julius Lecciones of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC). /kga
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