‘In the spirit of Christmas,’ Garin makes peace with Acosta, Erfe after Dengvaxia issue
MANILA, Philippines — “In the spirit of Christmas,” Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin has offered her hand of reconciliation t0 Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta and the agency’s forensics chief Erwin Erfe who earlier had filed cases against her over the Dengvaxia controversy.
“In the spirit of Christmas, we should all be one. So allow me to also extend my hand of reconciliation kay (to) Persida Acosta, kay (to) Dr. (Erwin) Erfe. Alam ko po na hindi kami nagkakasundo dahil kami ay sumasandal sa siyensya, sila naman eh iba naman ‘yung kanilang sinasandalan,” Garin, senior deputy minority leader, said during the House Minority bloc press conference on Wednesday.
“But at the end of the day, we all have to think that we all have one direction and that is to produce a healthy community and to produce things that will benefit the future generations especially our children,” the doctor and former Health Secretary added.Despite making peace with Acosta and Erfe, Garin said the two could continue with the filing of cases against her, as she insists that the allegations against her are baseless.
“Maganda siguro dahil hindi sya doktor, eh baka kung magkita kami, maintindihan nya ‘yung mga totoong scientific explanations,” Garin further said.
(Since she’s not a doctor, it may be good that if we meet, she could understand the true scientific explanations behind the issue.)
Dengvaxia, manufactured by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, was used in the massive anti-dengue vaccination program during the tail end of the Aquino administration in 2016. Garin was the Health secretary at that time and was among the former officials who faced charges in connection with the vaccination drive.
This came after Sanofi released results of its long-term follow-up study which showed that the vaccine could cause an increased risk to those who are seronegative or not yet infected with dengue. The program has since been suspended.
Garin previously said that if the Dengvaxia vaccination drive was not suspended, the dengue outbreak in the country could have been prevented. She also appealed to the Department of Health to “listen to real experts” in light of the outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, dengue, and polio.
Edited by MUF
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.