DOJ dismisses Garin’s complaint vs Ubial
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed the criminal complaint filed by former health secretary Janette Garin against her successor, former health secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial, in connection with the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.
Garin, in her complaint, alleged that Ubial should be held liable for shifting the dengue immunization program from school-based to community-based, which she said contributed to the allegations of reported deaths among immunized children.
Ubial, however, countered that the community-based implementation of the dengue immunization program was not contrary to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations that immunization programs should be school-based.
She added that she was “not negligent or imprudent in implementing the Community-Based Dengue Immunization Program” and that the decision to implement it was “a result of discussions by the DOH Executive Committee, consultations with medical experts, and was supported by scientifically and medically backed-up research culled from several years of clinical trials.”
In a resolution made public Tuesday, the DOJ said the criminal complaint lacks probable cause.
“In order to establish the liability of Ubial for the crime charged, it must be shown that there is a direct causal connection between such negligence and the death complained of,” the resolution signed by Investigating Assistant State Prosecutor Claire Eufracia Pagayanan stated.
“However, Garin failed to name a single victim who reportedly died as a result of Ubial’s alleged negligent approval and implementation of community-based Dengue immunization program,” the resolution further stated.
“Considering that Garin failed to show the existence of the corpus delicti of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide, the complaint against Ubial shall be dismissed for lack of probable cause,” it added.
Garin served as health chief from December 2014 to June 2016. Ubial succeeded her and served from July 2016 to October 2017. /ee
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