Duterte tells Duque to "stay put" despite senators' call for him to quit
President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to remain on his post despite the call by most senators for him to resign for his alleged failure to properly handle the coronavirus disease pandemic.
A Senate resolution signed by at least 14 senators sought for Duque's immediate resignation for his alleged failure of leadership, negligence and lack of foresight in addressing the problem.
"The President has made a decision for Health Secretary Duque to stay put," said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in a text message to reporters on Thursday.
But he said Duterte expressed "his appreciation for the Senator's gesture in giving him the opportunity to weigh his options on the performance" of Duque.
He said Duque was made aware of the sentiments of the senators.
With this, Medialdea said Duterte is expecting more from Duque.
"The President expects him (Duque) to work even harder to set aside any doubts on his capacity and sincerity to serve the public during these difficult times," he said.
The senators, in the resolution, have accused Duque of failing to put in place the necessary precautionary measures to lessen, if not at all prevent, the impact of the health crisis as early as the beginning of the year.
Those who signed in the resolution are Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Emmanuel Pacquiao, Francis Tolentino, Sonny Angara, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Joel Villanueva, Ronald dela Rosa, Sherwin Gatchalian, Panfilo Lacson, Imee Marcos, Lito Lapid, and Ramon Revilla Jr.
Some of the signatories were tested positive for COVID-19, such as Zubiri and Angara. Celerina Monte/DMS