DOJ junks Garin motion in Dengvaxia case
A Department of Justice (DOJ) panel has denied the motion of former Health Secretary Janette Garin to include the affidavit of a pathologist as part of her defense in the criminal complaints against her related to the anti-dengue vaccine Dengavaxia.
Garin and other former and incumbent Health officials are facing criminal complaints for the death of children inoculated with Dengvaxia.
On Sept. 21, the former health chief filed a motion asking the panel to admit the affidavit of Dr. Raymundo Lo, reportedly a specialist in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology.
The complainants who are relatives, parents of the deceased children, represented by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), opposed the motion saying Lo’s credibility and testimony could best be determined during a trial.
In junking Garin’s motion, the DOJ panel said it was too late to submit Lo’s affidavit, saying that she was given enough time to respond to the complaint against her.
The former health secretary received the complaint last May 24 and was given one month to submit her counter-affidavit.
Garin submitted her counter-affidavit on June 25 and the complainants filed their reply on Aug. 1. Garin responded with a rejoinder on Aug. 28.
The motion regarding Lo’s affidavit came almost a month later.
“It cannot therefore be denied that respondent Garin was given ample opportunity to ventilate her defense,” the panel said.
“That was more than enough time for her to secure the affidavits of her witnesses, including Dr. Raymundo Lo. It is indeed very late in the day for her to submit the affidavit of a witness at this time,” the panel said adding that Garin also failed to submit an explanation why Dr. Lo’s affidavit was submitted late.
“The instant motion to admit the supporting affidavit of Dr. Raymundo W. Lo has no leg to stand on. For, indeed, this is not the occasion for the full and exhaustive display of the parties’ evidence. The parties have been adequately accorded due process with the submission of their respective pleadings. At any rate the matters raised in the alleged expert testimony of Dr. Lo are evidentiary in nature and as such it is better threshed out in a full blown trial before the court,” said the panel
The order is signed by the panel of prosecutors namely Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Ma. Emilia L. Victorio, Assistant State Prosecutors Christine T. Perolino, Susan B. Azarcon and Alejandro C. Daguiso and Associate Prosecution Attorneys Jerome I. Coronel and Joan Garcia Guevarra. /cbb
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