Duque admits COVID-19 response shortcomings, issues apology
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III apologized on Friday for his shortcomings in addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis in the country.
The apology was made after 14 senators filed a resolution calling for his resignation due to alleged “failure of leadership, negligence, (and) lack of foresight” in addressing the pandemic.
He reasoned that the crisis is fairly new not only to the Philippines but to the whole world and he has no past experience in addressing such a pandemic.
“Ako na mismo ang aamin. Mayroon din akong mga pagkakamali at ako ay humihingi ako ng paumanhin kung ako ay nagkamali,” Duque said in an interview on dzMM.
(I will be the one to admit, I also have shortcomings and mistakes and I apologize.)
“Pero sa problema kasi ng COVID-19, dahil komo bago ito, wala naman tayong past experience o karanasan kung paano ba tutugunan itong virus na ito. Pakapa-kapa pa rin ang buong mundo, hindi lang tayo,” he added.
(But with the problem of COVID-19, this is new so we don’t have any past experience in handling such a virus.)
Duque earlier said he was “really hurt” by the call of several senators for him to resign.
He, however, said he will stay put as long as President Rodrigo Duterte trusts him.
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