In holiday spirit, Garin extends hand of reconciliation to Dengvaxia critics

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2019 07:35 PM | Updated as of Dec 18 2019 07:53 PM

MANILA - Former Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin on Wednesday offered her hand of reconciliation to her critics in the Dengvaxia vaccination scandal that was pinned on the health department when she led the agency.

“Let us extend our hand of reconciliation to all those who do not like us and to all those whom we hate because in the spirit of Christmas isa lang po mananaig (only one thing shall prevail),” Garin said during their weekly minority bloc briefing at the House of Representatives.

For Garin, these include Public Attorney’s Office Chief Persida Acosta and PAO Forensic Chief Erwin Erfe who had pursued cases against her. 

“Allow me also to extend my hand of reconciliation kay Persida Acosta, kay Dr. Erfe, alam ko po na ‘di kami nagkakasundo. Kami, sumasandal sa siyensiya, sila naman iba 'yung kanilang sinasandalan,” she said.

(Allow me also to extend my hand of reconciliation to Persida Acosta, to Dr. Erfe, I know we do not see eye to eye. We rely on science, they rely on something else.)

Garin is facing several cases for the dengue vaccination program initiated in April 2016, towards the end of the Aquino administration under which she was health chief. 

PAO has tagged Dengvaxia in the death of several patients given anti-dengue shots under government's immunization program. 

This after its maker Sanofi Pasteur said the anti-dengue vaccine might cause more severe dengue symptoms if administered on those who have not had the mosquito-borne disease. 

The French firm has said there has been no proof that Dengvaxia caused the death of any patient. 

Government suspended the dengue vaccination program after the controversy broke.