Cabinet members "100 percent" supportive of Duque - IATF
Members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases have expressed "100 percent" support to embattled Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
In a virtual press briefing, IATF Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that when a Senate resolution came out, calling for Duque's resignation due to his alleged inefficiency, the IATF members wondered that there were already some names being floated as the Health chief's possible replacement.
"It's very strange," he said.
He also said when the Senate resolution was passed, "all of us in the Cabinet uttered our 100 percent support for Secretary Duque."
"Then after, the President gave a decision that he will keep Secretary Duque," he added.
Duterte has asked Duque to "stay put" on his post despite the call of at least 14 senators for the Health chief to quit.
Nograles said the IATF fully supports Duque because he is doing his job well.
"He will tell it as it is. No ifs and buts. And in this crisis, what we're facing now, we have to make hard decisions. You have to make decisions on the go ? quick, decisive, hard decisions ? at it helps us that Secretary Duque is there because he will tell it as it is," he said.
He said whatever the Health chief has been saying were backed up by science and data.
Nograles added that it was Duque who proposed for the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, which took effect on March 17 and will expire on April 30.
He said the government could not be bothered by things, like call for Duque's resignation.
"We cannot stop and pause, stop and pause - we cannot. We cannot afford that," he added.
Nograles also defended the government in the wake of COVID-19 crisis, saying it is "not lacking" on its actions.
He said the administration is trying its best to the address the problem. Celerina Monte/DMS