Garin, 4 others charged over Dengvaxia

(UPDATE) CRIMINAL complaints were filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against former Health secretary and now Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin and three others for alleged illegal use of public funds.

Garin, former Health undersecretary Kenneth Hartigan-Go, former Department of Health (DoH) director Maria Joyce Ducusin and former Philippine Children’s Medical Center executive director Julius Lecciones were charged before the Sandiganbayan for the purchase of Dengvaxia vaccine using the budget of the DoH’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).

HOUSE Committee on Appropriations Vice Chairman and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin. File Photo

HOUSE Committee on Appropriations Vice Chairman and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin. File Photo

The Ombudsman said that the Dengvaxia purchase was not part of the EPI.

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman filed a graft case against Garin, Hartigan-Go, Ducusin, Lecciones and former DoH undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo for realigning government funds to purchase the anti-dengue vaccine.

Garin said the filing of the complaint will provide her the opportunity “to finally put an end to the long-standing issue that apparently continue[s] to haunt us.”

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“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,” she 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,” she said.

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