MANILA - Former health secretary and now lawmaker Janette Garin on Saturday denied she was facing arrest in relation to the deaths of children administered with the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.
Garin said the reports were "another attempt to mislead and condition the public's mind" and that the court merely stated that she and 3 others accused have yet to file their bail.
"No warrant of arrest has been issued," she said in a statement.
"The Court document also noted that the bail bonds posted before Muntinlupa City; Imus, Cavite and other courts are already considered filed before the Quezon City court. If the Court missed my records, I will furnish them a copy of my documents."
The lawmaker, who was Health Secretary from December 2014 until June 2016, added that the first batch of Dengvaxia complaints against her has been dismissed, while one court has yet to hand down its decision.
"Science have proven that the vaccine did not and could not cause deaths. Only in the Philippines do we believe dramatic lawyers and fake pathologists over real doctors and scientists," she said.
"In this time of pandemic, when our only hope for returning to normal is the development of a vaccine, let us not demonize vaccines...Let us be wary with news that tends to condition the public to sow hatred and form negative opinions about others. Science and truth is on our side. We continuously pray for justice."
Public Attorney's Office chief Persida Acosta, who led the filing of charges against Garin, said the court would issue an arrest warrant for Garin if she fails to post bail.
"Sinasabi kasi ng judge dito, may probable cause eh. Ang sabi, 'Wherefore probable cause exists to issue warrant of arrest to all accused,' yun ang dispositive," Acosta told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo on Sunday.
(The judge said there was a probable cause. The dispositive reads, 'Wherefore probable cause exists to issue warrant of arrest to all accused.')
Acosta, meantime, said some 100 families on Tuesday would file fresh charges after their children died supposedly in relation with Dengvaxia.
"Wala pong umuurong dito sa mga pamilya na nagsampa ng kaso sa Department of Justice. Sa araw ng Martes po...mahigit 100 pamilya ang magrereklamo sa Dengvaxia dahil namatayan sila ng anak," she said.
(No family has retracted their complaints filed before the Department of Justice. On Tuesday... some 100 families will file charges after their children died due to Dengvaxia.)
In late 2017, the government stopped its nationwide dengue vaccination program and pulled Dengvaxia off the market after drugmaker Sanofi warned that the vaccine might cause severe symptoms if given to those who did not have prior exposure to the mosquito-borne disease.