Leachon links Garin’s unprovoked attack to Dengvaxia trial
Newly resigned Department of Health (DOH) special adviser Dr. Antonio Leachon believes the “unprovoked” attack against him by Iloilo Rep. and former health chief Janette Garin was connected to his role as a prosecution witness in the ongoing Dengvaxia trial.
On Tuesday, Leachon announced he has submitted his immediate resignation to Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa as DOH special adviser for non-communicable diseases.
“I have made this decision after careful consideration, and it is based on personal reasons that I believe are best for me, my family, and my future,” wrote Leachon in his resignation letter dated Sept. 11 that was leaked to the media on Tuesday.
In his social media account, Leachon said his resignation was prompted by last week’s House of Representatives public hearing on the DOH 2024 budget.
During the Sept. 6 hearing, Garin questioned Leachon’s appointment as special adviser to the DOH and assailed his credentials as a public health expert.
She said Leachon does not have a post-graduate degree in public health.
Leachon then shared on Facebook his curriculum vitae. He said he chose not to defend his qualifications in public since “at this stage, I do not have to prove anything anymore.”
“The Dengvaxia case will drag on for years. And they will be trying relentlessly to discredit me all throughout its pendency. People don’t care anymore,” he added.
Leachon held the post for a month and said he decided to quit to spare his family.
Leachon had testified in court against DOH’s alleged negligence in administering in 2016 the new antidengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, to hundreds of thousands of school children and government employees.
Garin, also on Tuesday, issued a statement making Herbosa accountable for letting the DOH be used as a “platform for non-experts.”
“This is not something personal against Leachon. But I stand firm in calling for Secretary Herbosa’s accountability,” Garin said. INQ