Acosta denies reports PAO wants to take over DOJ prosecution in Dengvaxia cases
MANILA, Philippines — The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) branded as fake news reports that it has filed a motion in court accusing the entire National Prosecution Service (NPS) of bias and conflict of interest in handling the Dengvaxia complaints.
“These [reports] are fake news,” PAO Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta declared in a statement. “To clear things out, the PAO has not filed any motion in court and did not accuse the entire NPS of bias and conflict of interest. It is also not true that the PAO wants to take over the prosecution of the Dengvaxia cases.”
Acosta, however, explained that what they did was send a letter to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla requesting the inhibition of the Department of Justice (DOJ) panel of prosecutors from handling the cases and to let Quezon City prosecutors handle the complaints instead.
“Nothing in the said motion addressed to SOJ Remulla would show that the PAO wanted to take over the prosecution of the cases. The PAO sought nothing more than to protect the DOJ from any unfair speculation, perception, and impression of prejudgment and bias,” she said.
PAO made the request to Remulla after Justice Undersecretary Jesse Hermogenes Andres was tasked to supervise the NPS. Andres was the previous counsel of former Health Secretary Janette Garin in the Dengvaxia complaints.
READ: Janette Garin pleads not guilty in homicide case involving Dengvaxia
But Andres, in an earlier statement, said that as of last June, before his assumption as head of the NPS, his law firm had already disengaged from being Garin’s counsel and inhibited from the case as early as July 7 or within one week from taking the post.
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