Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Acosta on Wednesday insisted that she cannot be held criminally liable for the creation of a forensic laboratory.
She reacted to an alleged complaint filed by one Wilfredo Garrido Jr. before the Office of the Ombudsman for putting up the PAO forensic laboratory without authority from the House of Representatives.
“The PAO forensic lab started out as room or workspace where forensic experts and volunteers worked. It was not a created unit or office,” Acosta said.
“The hiring of Dr. Erwin Erfe as PAO forensic consultant was authorized by [then] Department of Budget and Management Secretary [Emilia] Boncondin in 2004. This year, the DBM through Secretary [Benjamin] Diokno created the PAO forensic laboratory division with eight plantilla authorized positions under the office of the Chief Public Attorney with four physicians, nurse, medical technologist, dentist and laboratory assistant,” she said.
“The PAO chief did not create any position for the forensic laboratory,” she added.
Garrido said Acosta committed graft, and that she would use the PAO forensic laboratory to “prove her case” with regards to the Dengvaxia controversy.
PAO has already autopsied 133 children who died after being inoculated with Dengvaxia vaccine shots.
Erfe stood firm on PAO’s forensic findings that those who died had a common pattern of signs and symptoms of pharmacological torture through extreme pain and internal bleeding.
PAO blamed the Department of Health for the mass vaccination of over 800,000 school children since the stint of then health secretary Janette Garin.
Acosta wanted to hold Health Secretary Francisco Duque II liable for the continuity of the mass vaccination.
“That complaint is fake news. The Ombudsman said that it is not a case but only a comment,” she said.
“Please, do not use PAO, the forensic team and the Dengvaxia victims just to cover up,” she cited, referring to the people behind the Otso Diretso bets who lost in the May 13 senatorial race.
The DBM created the laboratory, “and not me,” she said.