Garin willing to resign as congresswoman if Atienza proves vaccines harmful

Published October 7, 2019, 2:56 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Tara Yap 

ILOILO – Rep. Janette Loreto-Garin of the 1st congressional district of Iloilo province will resign if Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay Party-list can prove that vaccines are harmful.

Congresswoman Janette Loreto-Garin of the 1st district of Iloilo province.  (Tara Yap / MANILA BULLETIN)
Congresswoman Janette Loreto-Garin of the 1st district of Iloilo province. (Tara Yap / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I accept his challenge.  I will resign, but only if he can scientifically prove his claims,” Garin told Iloilo media in a press conference.

Garin, a former health secretary, clashed with Atienza during a plenary session at the Lower House last week over the controversial anti-dengue vaccine.

Garin questioned Atienza’s claim that the “misapplication of Dengvaxia” has caused fear among both parents and children.

Atienza also challenged Garin to a televised debate and resign from her position if he can prove that Dengvaxia, which was administered in mass vaccination program when Garin was the health secretary of President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2016, causes deaths.

But the verbal joust between the two lawmakers went beyond Dengvaxia.

Garin also slammed Atienza’s comments that anti-tetanus vaccine was abortifacient, causing pregnant women to have miscarriages.

Garin, a medical doctor by profession, explained why there was a need to cut off Atienza’s interpellation last week.

“Because he’s a congressman, he can say whatever he wants to say,” Garin said.

For the lady lawmaker, the rhetoric from an elected official such as Atienza was very dangerous.

“That’s why we are called honorable because you should act like one. Being honorable means being responsible for public statements that you are releasing, especially if it will cost lives,” Garin emphasized.

Read more: Atienza, Garin square off in intense debate over Dengvaxia, confidence on national vaccination program