Senators interpret Duterte’s latest ‘presidential pakulo’ on Duque
MANILA, Philippines — Some senators are baffled by President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest “presidential pakulo” (gimmick) on Health Secretary Francisco Duque III who continues to hold office despite criticisms.
In his weekly address to the nation aired Tuesday, Duterte repeated his statement that he would not fire Duque but would accept the latter’s resignation if voluntarily offered.
“I don’t get it as most Filipinos won’t understand this latest presidential ‘pakulo,'” Senator Panfilo Lacson said in a text message to reporters on Wednesday when sought for comment.
“Most presidents all over the world would simply send a message to an appointee to file his letter of resignation and give him the opportunity to exit with dignity and grace. That is the usual dramatics involved when the appointing power wants to spare a cabinet member the humiliation of getting the boot. I really don’t get it,” Lacson said.
For Senator Risa Hontiveros, Duque should take Duterte’s latest statement as a “signal and offer to resign to give way to somebody more competent who can steer us out of this pandemic.”
“Ngunit sa pabago-bagong pahayag ni Presidente, it seems that he is only publicly giving the Secretary of Health a graceful exit. Ang dami na ngang hindi matugunan nang maayos, pinaglalaruan pa nya ang isipan ng mamamayan,” Hontiveros said in another text .
Senator Imee Marcos, meanwhile, surmised the President had found basis on the issues raised against Duque, especially on the latter’s handling of the COvid-19 pandemic.
“The President is a reasonable man, and a highly experienced prosecutor- as the evidence builds up, I am sure he now knows who are guilty,” Marcos said in another statement
“He (Duterte) has probably read through the documents and testimonies, found basis for suspicion or at least further investigation, and has hence changed his mind,” she added.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.