DOJ junks Garin motion for expert’s testimony on Dengvaxia probe

MANILA State prosecutors denied the motion of former Health Secretary Janette Garin to include the testimony of a health expert in the ongoing preliminary investigation into the criminal charges on her possible involvement in the administration of the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine, which is being blamed for the deaths among recipient school children.

In a seven-page order dated Oct. 10 but was only released to reporters Thursday, the Department of Justice's (DOJ) panel of investigators, led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Ma. Emilia I. Victorio, denied Garin's motion to include the affidavit of Dr. Raymundo Lo, an expert pathologist specializing in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology as part of the evidence of her legal defense.

"The instant motion to admit the supporting affidavit of Dr. Raymundo W. Lo has no leg to stand on. For, indeed, this is not the occasion for the full and exhaustive display of the parties' evidence. The parties have been adequately accorded due process with the submission of their respective pleadings. At any rate the matters raised in the alleged expert testimony of Dr. Lo are evidentiary in nature and as such it is better threshed out in a full blown trial before the court," the panel ruled.

Garin, 45, was Health Secretary during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III when the government acquired and approved the implementation of a massive anti-dengue vaccination campaign particularly in public elementary schools.

French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur, provider of the vaccines, belatedly disclosed that Dengvaxia could potentially cause instead of prevent dengue when administered to certain types of patients.

Prior to her stint as health chief, Garin served as representative of the first district of Iloilo.

Aside from Victorio, other members of the DOJ panel are Assistant State Prosecutors Christine T. Perolino, Susan B. Azarcon and Alejandro C. Daguiso and Associate Prosecution Attorneys Jerome I. Coronel and Joan Garcia Guevarra. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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