Pacquiao’s plea to Duterte: Replace Duque
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao on Monday urged the President to replace Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who is being blamed for government’s missed opportunity to secure Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by January.
“Ang mensahe ko siguro is palitan na sya para magkaroon ng comparison sa ibang may mga kaya din,” Pacquiao said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Headstart.”
(My message is to replace him [Duque] so we can have a comparison with others who are also capable)
”Hindi ko naman sinabi na hindi nya (Duque) kaya pero yung… may mga kaya din na mga leader natin na naaambisyon din na mamuno dyan sa DOH na yan, pagbigyan para makumpara natin kung ano yung perfomance ng isang tao. Hindi kasi natin pwedeng masabi na ito magaling na ito kung walang ibang maikumpara natin.”
(I’m not saying that Duque is not capable, but there are also others who want to lead the DOH. Let’s give them a chance so we can compare their performance. Because we can’t say if one is good if there would be no comparison.)
“Ang pakiusap ko kay Pangulo na kung pwede palitan na lang nya si Sec. Duque para para maibsan naman yung hinaing ng ating mga kababayan…” the senator went on.
(My appeal to the President is, if possible, to just replace Sec. Duque to ease the suffering of our countrymen.)
Before this, Pacquiao asked Duque to voluntary resign from his post following reports he was the one “who dropped the ball” on the Pfizer deal supposedly expected to arrive in the Philippines next month.
“Sayang, dapat this January may vaccine na tayo, yung Pfizer,” Pacquiao said. “But masasabi natin na talagang kapalpakan yan ng ating DOH (Department of Health), si Secretary Duque. I’m sorry to say that, but prangka kasi ako magsalita e. Prangka ako magsalita na like I said, napapahiya ang ating Pangulo pagkaganun.”
(Too bad, we could have had the vaccine by January, from Pfizer… We can say that this is really a blunder by the DOH, of Sec. Duque. I’m sorry to say that, but speaking plainly, it is our president who is bearing the embarrassment.)
“Sa akin lang, for delicadeza, voluntary resigning na lang sa agency dahil maapektuhan ang ating Pangulo,” he added.
(For delicadeza’s sake, just voluntarily resign from the agency because this is affecting the President)
Pacquiao clarified he has nothing against Duque, whom he described as a “good man,” but pointed out the country’s urgent need to have the vaccine against COVID-19.
In April this year, Pacquiao joined 13 other senators in calling for Duque’s resignation through a resolution due to the latter’s alleged mishandling of the pandemic.
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