MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) junked the criminal complaint filed by Janette Garin to her fellow former Department of Health (DOH) secretary Paulyn Ubial over the Dengvaxia vaccine controversy.
In a resolution released on late Tuesday, the DOJ dismissed due to lack of probable cause the complaint of Garin, who held Ubial liable for shifting the dengue immunization program from school-based to community-based.
“In order to establish the liability of Ubial for the crime charged, it must be shown that there is a direct causal connection between such negligence and the death complained of,” the resolution said.
“However, Garin failed to name a single victim who reportedly died as a result of Ubial’s alleged negligent approval and implementation of community-based dengue immunization program,” it added.
The DOJ said: “Considering that Garin failed to show the existence of the corpus delicti of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide, the complaint against Ubial shall be dismissed for lack of probable cause.”
According to Garin’s complaint, Ubial’s decision of shifting the dengue immunization program has contributed to the allegations of reported deaths among immunized children.
It was Garin’s second complaint against her successor that was dismissed by the DOJ.
Last year it also dismissed Garin’s libel charge against Ubial when she blamed the former of the deaths due to the controversial vaccine.
The Dengvaxia controversy started when its manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, announced that the drug may lead to more severe symptoms of dengue for those who have never been infected by the virus prior to vaccination.
Garin, who was DOH chief during the administration of president Benigno Aquino III, spearheaded the government’s dengue vaccination program with some 830,000 children immunized with Dengvaxia./PN