DoJ calls PAO Dengvaxia claims baseless

As early as May 2022, Undersecretary Andres had withdrawn as counsel in the case, and upon his assumption into office, he had inhibited from taking part in the resolution of the cases

The Department of Justice shall resolve pending petitions for review of Dengvaxia cases in accordance with law and jurisprudence, and based solely on the evidence presented by the parties.

DoJ Undersecretary Jesse Andres made this assertion in response to the claim of the Public Attorneys Office and parents of Dengvaxia victims that he should stop supervising the National Prosecution Service due to a conflict of interest.

The PAO had earlier asked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla to assign Andres to another office, claiming he lawyered for Cong. Jeanette Garin, one of those charged in Dengvaxia deaths being a former Health Secretary.

In a statement sent to the media by DoJ spokesperson Assistant Secretary Miko Clavano it said, “It is totally unfair for PAO Chief Persida Acosta to ascribe to the DOJ and to Undersecretary Jesse Hermogenes T. Andres any impropriety or undue influence on the case.” It said that there are existing rules and mechanisms on avoidance of conflict of interest and the DoJ will strictly implement them.

As early as May 2022, Undersecretary Andres had withdrawn as counsel in the case, and upon his assumption into office, he had inhibited from taking part in the resolution of the cases.

The Dengvaxia complaints would be resolved purely on the merits of the case.  In fact even after the assumption of Usec  Andres as DoJ Undersecretary,  all Dengvaxia complaints were filed in court except those similarly dismissed in the past for failure to present an actual vaccination card.

In her motion filed in court, PAO accused the entire National Prosecution Service of bias and conflict of interest simply because Undersecretary Andres is now part of the DoJ. She wants the DoJ to abdicate on its duty to prosecute the cases and for PAO to take over the prosecution of the cases. This proposal is contrary to law and is not within the charter mandate of PAO. There is neither a factual nor legal basis for the disqualification of the DoJ.


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