Duterte's decision: Duque to 'stay put' as health chief | Inquirer News

Duterte’s decision: Duque to ‘stay put’ as health chief

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 04:15 PM April 16, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks as DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III gazes at him. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III will “stay put”.

This was the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte as senators called for the resignation of the country’s health chief over alleged dismal handling of the COVID-19 epidemic.


Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed Thursday in a message to reporters that: “Yes. The President has made a decision for Health Secretary Duque to stay put,” Medialdea said.

“He also expressed his appreciation for the Senators’ gesture in giving him the opportunity to weigh his options on the performance [of] his SOH,” he added.


Duterte expects Duque to work harder amid senators’ calls for his resignation, Medialdea also said.

“Secretary Duque was made aware of the sentiments of the Senators and the President expects him to work even harder to set aside any doubts on his capacity and sincerity to serve the public during these difficult times,” he said.

Senators sought Duque’s “immediate resignation” over his performance in managing the novel coronavirus disease crisis.

Under Senate Resolution No. 362, 14 senators cited Duque’s “failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight, and inefficiency in the performance of his mandate as the secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) resulting in poor planning delayed response, lack of transparency, and misguided and flip-flopping policies and measures in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic that endangered and continues to endanger the lives of our healthcare professionals, other frontliners, and the Filipino people.”

Duque said he will answer all allegations in “due time.”

He vowed to work with other frontliners in fighting against COVID-19.

“We will answer these allegations in due time, but right now, we will continue to be in the trenches with our health care workers and frontliners. Let us work as a team, as one country fighting for the health and safety of all. I will continue to serve the country to the best of my abilities. Magtulungan po tayo,” Duque said in a statement.


Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier distanced Malacañang from calls asking for Duque’s resignation. Roque also said the President continues to have trust and confidence in his Cabinet members.

As of Thursday, the Philippines recorded 5,660 cases of COVID-19 with 362 deaths and 435 recoveries.


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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