Garin sees graft case as opportunity to clear herself of Dengvaxia issues | Inquirer News

Garin sees graft case as opportunity to clear herself of Dengvaxia issues

/ 10:35 PM October 25, 2023

Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin

Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin. (File photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, a former health secretary, has an optimistic outlook on the graft and malversation complaint filed against her and other former officials of the Department of Health (DOH) officials: “We see this case as an opportunity to finally put an end to the longstanding issue that apparently continues to haunt us.”

“As we maintain our clear conscience and readiness to face the issues that confront us, we are confident that our sound exercise of discretion, which is backed by hard science, will disprove the allegations in the complaint filed by Atty. Glenn Chiong,” Garin added in a message sent to House reporters on Wednesday.


Earlier, reports came out that the Office of the Ombudsman had filed graft raps against Garin, former Health Director Maria Joyce Ducusin, former Philippine Children’s Medical Center head Julius Lecciones, and former Health Undersecretary Kenneth Hartigan-Go for supposedly conspiring to realign funds in the DOH to the anti-dengue vaccination program in 2015.


Garin, who was DOH during the term of President Benigno Aquino III, oversaw the distribution and administration of the Dengvaxia vaccines from pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur.

Complainants Chong, Eligio Mallari of Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc, Dr. Anthony Leachon, and Dr. Clarito Cairo Jr. claimed that P3.356 billion were realigned in December 2015 for the procurement of Dengvaxia vaccines and their use as part of the school-based immunization program.

“There are a lot of risks in advocating vaccine development that we, as doctors and vaccinologists, experience. It is part of the challenges that come with our calling to save lives,” Garin said.

“Finally, we firmly believe in the principles of justice and due process which our legal system upholds. With this, we fully trust that our innocence will be duly proven and the truth will come out in due time.”

READ: Leachon links Garin’s unprovoked attack to Dengvaxia trial

In 2022, Garin pleaded not guilty over homicide cases filed by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) also in connection with the anti-dengue program,


In 2020, she and another former DOH secretary, Francisco Duque III, faced the following complaints after 99 victims supposedly died of severe dengue fever after being vaccinated with Dengvaxia:

  • reckless imprudence resulting in homicide under the Revised Penal Code
  • torture of children and torture resulting the deaths in violation of the Act Penalizing Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment
  • violation of the Consumer Act of the Philippines
  • violation of the Philippine Pharmacy Act, for vaccination without the required prescription and dispensing without pharmacist approval
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TAGS: Dengvaxia, graft case, Janette Garin, Office of the Ombudsman

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