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Garin on beef with ABS-CBN: This is not about vindictiveness

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Iloilo Rep. and former Health Secretary Janette Garin on Thursday insisted that her objections against the grant of ABS-CBN’s franchise was due to a personal vendetta over what she perceived to be biased reporting against her.

“Let me be clear about this, this is not about me. This is about doctors, scientists, experts and public health servants demonized to the point where it broke their hearts, souls and will to serve,” she said.

“They were merely doing their jobs: making medically sound decisions for the benefit of public health, scientifically weighing the costs versus risks of a breakthrough vaccine and ultimately deciding to save lives than do nothing and lose more,” Garin said.

“This is not about vindictiveness. This is about fake news and its impact on public health,” she said.

Garin said ABS-CBN’s sensational reporting on the Dengvaxia vaccine was “one of the reasons why vaccine confidence in the country went down and public health was ruined.”

“My intentions for raising certain issues I mentioned on Monday during the ABS-CBN have been questioned. I have received both praises and flak for my interpellation and I welcome that — that is the price we have to pay as public servants,” she said.

“However, I would like to clarify and remind everyone that Section 4 of House Bill 4349 which seeks to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN is about Responsibility to the Public,” she said.

“This includes providing at all times sound and balanced programming, assisting in the functions of public information and education and most importantly, not using its stations and facilities for the dissemination of deliberately false information or willful misrepresentation to the detriment of public interest,” Garin said.

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