Duterte won't allow Duque to quit
By Robina Asido
President Rodrigo Duterte will not allow Health Secretary Francisco Duque to quit from his position amid the alleged deficiency in the utilization of the 67.3 billion of COVID-19 response funds recently reported by the Commission on Audit (COA)
"I know you already want to resign but you also know that I will reject your resignation... Before you have attempted to resign twice I expect you to say something (about) this, if you resign I will tell you why you have to resign, you did not do anything bad," Duterte said during the pre-taped Talk to The People on Monday night.
Duterte defended Duque, saying the publication of the COA report against the DOH is not fair.
"That is what we ask. Do not conduct audit on our work that is still ongoing because it is still being documented. Now, if you're going to make an exit conference and then your going to publish about deficiency ... that paper becomes the gospel truth and it is not fair to the people like you who have been working," he said.
Duterte also expressed his full trust and confidence to his cabinet members, including Duque.
"I promised I will protect you people. It includes your money. Do you think I will allow that someone from my Cabinet members will steal even 1,000 pesos? Do you really think that I will allow it? It will be reported to me. There are in other department but not in my cabinet members," he said.
Duterte said the COA should just file charges before the Supreme Court if they later find any missing funds in the health department.
"If they found any missing funds there in the end, around 500 pesos, let them file charges before the Supreme Court," he said.
"It also happened to me before, I wanted to shout at COA to tell them that this is what I have said but they did not believe me and filed charges. We even reached the SC. They lost to me twice; the other is in the Court of Appeals," he added
Duterte even told the DOH to just return the remaining funds left to them and let the COA run the anti-COVID 19 program.
"If you want, just return it to them.Let them run the COVID program. You return the money whatever is left that was not yet spent if you were being pictured as corrupt official," he said. DMS