By Vann Marlo M. Villegas
THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has denied the motion of former Health secretary Janette Loreto-Garin to admit the supporting affidavit of Doctor Raymundo W. Lo in connection with the Dengvaxia cases, due to late submission of the plea.
In the six-page order dated Oct. 10, the DoJ noted Section 3(c) Rule 112 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, which states that an accused shall submit his/her counter-affidavit along with the affidavits of the witnesses and other supporting documents.
Ms. Garin filed her counter-affidavit to the cases linking her to the alleged deaths due to Dengvaxia inoculation on June 25, 2018, while the complainants, through the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), filed their reply on Aug. 1.
The ex-health chief then filed her rejoinder on the reply on Aug. 28, but the motion to admit Mr. Lo’s affidavit, which questioned the finding of the PAO’s Forensic Team and credibility of Erwin P. Erfe, was filed only on Sept. 21.
“It cannot therefore be denied that respondent Garin was given ample opportunity to ventilate her defense,” the order read, noting that Ms. Garin had one month to file to counter the complaints against her upon receiving the last two of the nine Dengvaxia-related complaints on May 24.
The DoJ said that Ms. Garin had more than enough time to secure the affidavits of her witnesses, including that of Mr. Lo.
“It is indeed very late in the day for her to submit the affidavit of a witness at this time when she had already filed her Rejoinder-Affidavit. More importantly, there is nothing in the Motion which shows any valid and justifiable reason for the very late submission of Dr. Lo’s affidavit in support of respondent’s defense,” it stated.
On Oct. 1, the complainants countered the affidavit of Mr. Lo, saying his credibility is questionable as he was part of the team that purchased the Dengvaxia vaccine.
Ms. Garin and 37 others are facing a total of 17 complaints linked to the alleged deaths due to Dengvaxia.
PAO is set to file 10 more complaints on Oct. 30.