Ex-DOH consultant sued for libel

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2018 11:47 AM | Updated as of Sep 26 2018 10:02 AM

A pharmacist shows boxes of Devangxia vaccine inside a vaccine refrigerator at one of the government hospitals on December 1, 2017. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The director of Philippine Children's Medical Center on Monday filed a libel complaint against Dr. Francis Cruz, a former consultant of the Department of Health, for allegations of a "mafia" within the agency.

Cruz claimed former Health Secretary Janette Garin and at least 17 other incumbent and former officials profited from the government's controversial P3.5-billion Dengvaxia vaccination program.

Julius Lecciones, executive director of PCMC who was also among those named in the accusation, called Cruz's allegation "malicious and baseless." He dared Cruz to provide evidence to back up his claim, which he said was only meant to smear his name as the chief of PCMC.

Garin last month also challenged Cruz to file charges against the alleged "mafia" in the department. She said she has never worked with Cruz and that she had no idea on how he came up with his accusations.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque also urged Cruz to show proof of his accusation, adding that he is open to an investigation on the issue. - report by Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News