Duque on resignation calls: ‘What else do I have to prove?’
MANILA, Philippines — “What else do I have to prove?”
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III posed this question on Thursday as he reacted to critics who are calling for his resignation.
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, Duque, who sits as chairman of the board of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), urged groups calling for his resignation to wait first for the result of the investigation now being conducted by the Task Force PhilHealth on the alleged anomalies in the state insurance firm.
“Trabaho lang kasi ito lahat. Unang-una, hindi naman tayo humingi nitong trabaho na ito. Tayo ay inanyayahan ng Pangulo na tulungan sya sa kanyang administrasyon, dahil alam naman ninyo na dati na akong naging kalihim diba?” Duque said.
(This is all just part of the job. First of all, I did not ask for this position. I was invited by the President to help him in his administration. You know that I have been a health secretary before, right?)
“Ito ay pangalawang beses. Kumbaga, what else do I have to prove diba? Wala naman, kung hindi trabaho lang para sa bayan at para rin makatulong na maging tagumpay ang administrasyon ni Pangulong Duterte. So tayo, trabaho lang,”
(This is the second time. In other words, what else do I have to prove, right? Nothing, except to work for the country and to help the administration of President Duterte become a success. So I will just work.)
Duque had previously served as health secretary during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Duque made his remarks after Senate President Vicente Sotto III reported during Tuesday’s plenary session the findings of the Senate Committee of the Whole that recently investigated alleged corruption hounding PhilHealth.
In its report, the panel called on President Rodrigo Duterte to replace Duque and appoint a new health secretary “who has a stronger will to fight corruption within his organization and the agencies under his/her watch.”
The committee likewise recommended the filing of charges against Duque, resigned PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales, and several high-ranking officials over the alleged misuse of funds.
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