Duterte will not ask Duque to take leave of absence – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will not ask Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to take a leave of absence from office despite allegations of corruption.
“No,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo briefly answered in a radio dzRH interview when asked if Duterte had ask Duque to take a leave.
Panelo on Tuesday told reporters that the President still trusts Duque despite allegations of conflict of interest against the health chief due to his family’s dealings with government.
An Inquirer report earlier bared that Duque’s family bagged government contracts to supply medicine in public hospitals and also entered into a leasing agreement with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in Pangasinan.
Known to fire government officials even with just a “whiff of corruption,” Duterte has been silent over the corruption allegations against Duque and his family.
Duque is facing graft and plunder complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman.
He is also accused of committing plunder for allowing the PhilHealth office in Pangasinan to rent a property belonging to his family. The Department of Health chief was then PhilHealth’s ex-officio chair as secretary of the health agency.
The health chief’s brother, Gonzalo was, earlier appointed by Duterte as Philippine Coconut Authority administrator. /muf
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