Garin denies existence of 'mafia' at DOH

By Leilani Junio

April 16, 2018, 5:54 pm

MANILA -- There is no so-called "mafia" at the Department of Health (DOH), former health chief Janette Garin said on Monday.

During a forum in Manila, Garin said allegations of the existence of a "mafia" at the department is baseless.

"DOH mafia does not exist in so far as persons being alluded to this is concerned," said Garin.

She said she is symphatizing with some health workers at the DOH who had been serving at the department for many years but have been recently unfairly dragged into the Dengvaxia controversy, including current Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Forensic expert Erwin Erfe earlier called on Duque to resign his post, alleging the DOH chief could not be transparent on the Dengvaxia fiasco.

As an answer to Efre's allegation, Duque reshuffled some of the health officials allegedly involved in the implementation of the vaccination program.

"It's very clear that there are some persons, people, detractors interested in some government posts. It's highly possible that they exert efforts to twist the truth and in effect push upright career officials to resign and leave the government so that those interested parties can be appointed," Garin said.

In a draft report of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, headed by Senator Richard Gordon, Garin, former President Benigno Aquino III and former Budget Secretary Butch Abad were named as "primary conspirators" in the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine.

Garin said the vaccine has undergone 23 years of clinical trials to test its efficacy.

"That is a well studied, expensive vaccine wherein the safety and efficacy was in conformity with WHO standard that is why it is given permit by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) not only in the Philippines but also in 18 or 19 countries,"she added. (PNA)