Duterte to Duque: Don’t be too touchy on criticisms
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque III not to dwell on criticisms and issues being hurled against him over his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
Duterte made the remark amid calls for Duque’s resignation over his alleged poor performance in light of the country’s fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Alam mo huwag kang masyadong touchy sa mga (Don’t be so touchy on) issues because always there will be pros and cons. Pakinggan lang natin (Just take note of these) because this is a democracy,” Duterte said in a late-night public address.
“Alam ko ikaw (I know you), you’re hard-pressed. I know your situation, you just tell us if that is the one that’s in the gray matter in between your ears. E di sabihin, mo kung ayaw niyo maniwala bahala kayo basta ito ang akin (Tell them if they don’t believe you that’s their choice),” he added.
Last month, 14 senators filed a resolution asking Duque to resign for his “failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight and inefficiency” in handling the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
Earlier, the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPi) asked Duterte to replace Duque as the country’s health chief, saying that they “have enough of the promises of PhilHealth and the Department of Health” regarding reimbursements to hospitals.
The group urged the President to tap “fresh blood” to lead the DOH amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Duque again drew flak last week after he claimed that the Philippines was already in the second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Several lawmakers groups and government officials contradicted Duque’s statement.
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