‘Very frustrating,’ Lacson says of Duterte’s persistent defense of Duque
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson expressed dismay on Monday over President Rodrigo Duterte’s continued defense of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III despite mounting calls for the latter’s resignation.
“It’s very frustrating ano kasi parang 14 of us just very recently passed or adopted a Senate resolution calling for his resignation,” Lacson said in an online interview with reporters.
“Eh sige naman ‘yung depensa ng Presidente hanggang sa umabot na tayo sa ganito ano,” he went on citing the surge in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVD 19) cases in the country.
(But the President continues to defend him until we already reached this point)
As of Sunday, health officials have recorded 103,185 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide with 2,059 deaths and 65,557 recoveries.
“Saan tayo dadalhin nito? Baka kailangan talaga pag-aralan baka hindi na yung ginagawa na tama siguro. So sabi ko nga, pagka wala namang sira sa rudder pero parang rudderless ang barko, baka kailangan ship captain na ang palitan,” the senator stressed.
(Where will this lead us? Maybe we are not doing the right thing. So as I’ve said, if the rudder is not damaged but the boat seems rudderless, then maybe we need to change the captain of the ship)
Lacson was among the 14 senators, who are calling for Duque’s resignation through a Senate resolution filed in April, citing the latter’s alleged “failure of leadership, negligence, (and) lack of foresight” in addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVD 19) pandemic.
Aside from them, the senator said many others in the Department of Health and the medical community also want Duque out.
“Having said that, I couldn’t understand what ‘amulet’ or magic potion Duque has as far as the President is concerned,” Lacson said in a separate statement.
Despite the clamor for Duque’s resignation, Duterte stood by his health chief and even repeatedly defended him from his critics.
“Secretary Duque, they want your neck. Then I said: ‘Okay, you want me to fire Duque?’ Let me be satisfied. What was his sin? He did not import COVID,” the President said as he addressed the nation on Sunday.
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