Several Philippine senators filed a resolution on Thursday calling for the immediate resignation of the country’s Health Secretary Francisco Duque lll due to his alleged “failure of leadership” in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Philippines is now the leading country in Southeast Asia with the most number of corona virus cases.
The Senators who signed the resolution were the following:
Senate President Vicente Sotto lll
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri
Sen. Sonny Anggara
Sen. Nancy Binay
Sen. Grace Poe
Sen. Manny Pacquiao
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian
Sen. Francis Tolentino
Sen. Joel Villanueva
Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa
Sen. Imee Marcos
Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
Sen. Lito Lapid
Sen. Panfilo Lacson
Duque’s shortcomings resulted in “poor planning, delayed response, lack of transparency, and misguided and flip-flopping policies” for COVID-19, according to the lawmakers.
However, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to keep Health Secretary Duque in his Cabinet.
“Secretary Duque was made aware of the sentiments of the Senators and the President expects him to work even harder to set aside any doubts on his capacity and sincerity to serve the public during these difficult times,” said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea .
Duque said he felt hurt by the senators’ demand.
“It is very unfortunate and I’m really hurt that at this time the Senate is calling for my resignation, when in fact we need to come together because we need to unite. We have such a formidable enemy, this is a war, this is World War III and this is against an invisible enemy,” Duque said in the virtual technical working group hearing of the House of Representatives’ Defeat COVID-19 Committee.
“The Senate’s call for my resignation is a fair opinion, we respect the fair opinion but this I have to say–I serve at the pleasure of the President and for as long as he continues to put his trust and confidence in my capabilities, I will lead the DOH and the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases ) in putting forward a very effective response against COVID-19 in this country,” he also said.
The Philippines now has 5,453 confirmed cases, 349 deaths, and 353 recoveries.
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