Sandiganbayan nixes Garin’s bid to dismiss graft raps over Dengvaxia deal | Inquirer News

Sandiganbayan nixes Garin’s bid to dismiss graft raps over Dengvaxia deal

/ 02:59 PM January 11, 2024

QC court orders consolidation of Dengvaxia-related criminal cases

In this June 4, 2018 photo, former Health Secretary Janette Garin attends preliminary hearing on the Dengvaxia issue together with former Budget Secretary Butch Abad and former President Noynoy Aquino at the DOJ. (INQUIRER file photo / MARIANNE BERMUDEZ)

MANILA, Philippines — Sandiganbayan has denied the bid of Iloilo 1st District Representative Janette Garin to quash the graft complaints filed against her and other former Department of Health (DOH) officials.

The cases involve the alleged realignment of public funds to purchase anti-dengue vaccines.


A resolution from Sandiganbayan’s Second Division dated January 10 deliberated four motions to quash the complaints.


The documents were from Garin; former Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo and former DOH director Maria Joyce Ducusin; former Philippine Children’s Medical Center head Julius Lecciones; and former Health Undersecretary Kenneth Hartigan-Go.

All requests were dismissed because Sandiganbayan said the allegations in the graft and technical malversation cases were adequate.

“The Court finds that the above-quoted allegations in the Information are sufficient. They contain all the elements of Violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019,” Sandiganbayan declared.

“Hence, the Information in question alleges facts and circumstances that necessarily constitute the offense charged,” the anti-graft court noted.

“The Court also finds that the above-quote allegations in the Information are sufficient. They contain all the elements of Violation of Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code,” it added.


Garin and other ex-DOH officials faced complaints after they supposedly conspired to roll out the Dengvaxia vaccines — the anti-dengue vaccines from pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur.

The complaints were filed by Ombudsman in October 2023.

It cited the statements of the complainants that P3.5 billion were realigned in December 2015 for the procurement of Dengvaxia vaccines and the implementation of the school-based immunization program.

The anti-dengue vaccination program was initiated under the term of then-President Benigno Aquino III — during which Garin was DOH secretary.

Among the complainants are Attorney Glenn Chong of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, Attorney Eligio Mallari of Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution, Incorporated, Dr. Anthony Leachon, and Dr. Clarito Cairo Jr.

Moreover, Sandiganbayan also disputed Garin’s claims that there was duplicity in the complaints filed against her.

It clarified the graft and malversation cases are contained in two separate cases.

“There is duplicity when a single complaint charges two or more offenses with a penalty of its own,” it first explained.

“Here, accused Garin, jointly with others, is charged under two separate Information, each pertaining to only one offense,” the anti-graft court observed.

“The two offenses are contained in two separate Informations,” Sandiganbayan pointed out.

“As it is, each Information charges only one offense without violating the rule against duplicity of offense,” it said.

This is not the first time Garin is facing complaints over the implementation of the anti-dengue program.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

In 2020, she and another former health secretary, Francisco Duque III, faced several complaints after 99 victims supposedly died of severe dengue fever after being vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

On November 13, Garin said she had posted bail for the graft and malversation raps, maintaining that she had done nothing wrong.

TAGS: Dengvaxia, Garin

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.