Hospital head sues former DOH consultant for libel
The head of Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) on Monday filed libel charges against Francisco Cruz, a former consultant to the Department of Health (DOH) who had accused him of being part of a “DOH mafia.”
PCMC executive director Julius Lecciones filed the criminal complaint in the Quezon City Assistant City Prosecutor’s Office, accusing Cruz of “malicious, false, baseless, unfounded [and] fabricated” allegations.
“They were made solely for the purpose of casting dishonor and discrediting my person and integrity, which I have painstakingly built through many years of practice,” Lecciones said.
The PCMC head added that the allegations caused him mental anguish, serious anxiety, sleepless nights and social humiliation.
Cruz, who is also a consultant to the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) on the Dengvaxia controversy, disclosed the existence of a mafia in the DOH in an interview with reporters in Quezon City on Jan. 13.
He reiterated the allegations in a radio interview two days later.
According to Cruz, the mafia was composed of key DOH officials who colluded with the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III for the purchase of Dengvaxia dengue vaccine from the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur for P3.5 billion.
Together with the VACC and the Vanguard of the Philippines Constitution Inc., Cruz filed a graft complaint against Aquino, former DOH officials and Sanofi Pasteur in the Department of Justice on Feb. 12.
In his complaint, Lecciones said he had an “unblemished record not only as a public servant but also as a doctor.”
Lecciones, who has headed PCMC since 2006, signed the procurement papers for Dengvaxia supplies for the DOH’s dengue immunization program.