Duque assured of impartiality

February 10, 2019
Francisco Duque III

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday vowed to resolve with impartiality the criminal charges lodged against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III involving deaths attributed to the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.

This despite President Duterte’s recent statement that the complaints against Duque by the families of the victims will not prosper because they involve a battle of medical experts.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra assured the public that the charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and violation of the Anti-Torture Act against Duque would be resolved based on evidence at hand.

He said that Malacañang would not have a hand in the resolution of the DoJ on the charges against Duque and other respondents, including former Health secretary Janette Garin.

“The President merely expressed a personal opinion in reaction to Sec. Duque’s statement that PAO chief (Persida) Acosta had relentlessly filed cases against him in connection with the Dengvaxia controversy,” the DoJ chief explained.

“In fairness to the President, he has never interfered in the discharge of the DoJ’s functions and responsibilities, including the resolution of the Dengvaxia cases,” he stressed.

Guevarra said he also explained to the President the status of the Dengvaxia cases before the DoJ, which he recently said would be resolved within this month.

“I informed the President that the DoJ investigating panels were studying these cases very carefully, as these cases involved not only Sec. Duque but more importantly the interest of the general public,” he said.