Health Secretary Francisco Duque III responded to netizens’ and lawmakers’ repetitive call for him to resign. This was after the Commission on Audit found deficiencies in the use of Php67.32 billion COVID-19 funds.
Duque claimed that there was a reason why President Rodrigo Duterte chose him to lead the Department of Health (DOH), and that is because of his experiences and abilities that could help serve the government.
“Alam mo ang nag-appoint sa akin si Pangulong Duterte, inanyayahan niya ako andoon ako sa aking lalawigan, nanahimik at ako’y inimbitahan, inanyayahan ako na tumulong sa kanyang administrasyon,” he said.
He mentioned that he had been DOH’s secretary before, chairman of the Civil Service Unit, and chairman of the Government Service Insurance System before returning to the Health Department.
“Dahil alam niya, matagal din akong nagsilbi. Naging Secretary of Health ako dati, naging chairman ako ng Civil Service Commission, naging chairman din ako ng GSIS, nakita naman niya kung papaano ako magtrabaho.”
The Secretary then asked people to keep his track record in mind and that the President is the one that has the decision on whether he will or will not quit his post.
“Yung track record ko eh huwag naman sanang kalimutan, nanilbihan naman tayo nang maayos,” he said.
“Na kay Presidente yan. Siya naman ang may ayaw na mag-resign ako ever since.”
After the news of the deficiencies spread, Netizens immediately called for Duque’s resignation, stating some of the deficiencies during his leadership at the DOH.
DUQUE IS THE WORST DOH SECRETARY IN PHIL HISTORY.
— Leisbeth Recto (@leisbeth_recto) August 11, 2021
Someone pointed out that Duque’s said “track record” says a lot about what he should do next.
— nef (@infamouspen) August 12, 2021
Another accused him of “mishandling” the country’s pandemic response.
Your track record is this pandemic which you are mishandling as secretary of a primary department for this crisis. https://t.co/vzkRue33sn
— Peter Cayton, the Stats Guy (@PJACaytonPhD) August 13, 2021
A netizen claimed that what the Filipinos feel isn’t the same as what President Duterte is thinking regarding Duque.
Duterte wants you to stay, sure, but the Filipino people want your head on a spike. https://t.co/UTSPyvT1Gg
— anya (sad girl autumn version) (@lasanyaravioli_) August 13, 2021
yeah. only him who wants you. https://t.co/DVyWBQGh4o
— Jom (@JOMMauricio) August 12, 2021
A netizen also mentioned Duque’s infamous meter stick stint on public markets.
— Penny Lane (@pennysauce_) August 13, 2021
Someone implied that Duque didn’t try enough to contain the virus in the Philippines.
I don’t know what your accomplishments are before the pandemic (if there are any), but you, as the leader of DOH, didn’t do everything in your power to control the virus, save people’s lives, and to support the national healthcare system. https://t.co/853ON6jKuV
— Josh is taking Kaggle’s #30daysofML (@josh_ko_naman) August 13, 2021
Another asked Duque what track record he’s pertaining about.
That's just it… Sketchy from the start, stupid ideas, failed handling of pandemic.. Track record?!? https://t.co/W2AHqf2CL9
— Ron (@burndout) August 13, 2021
It’s not the first time Duque was asked to resign, as he was also urged to do so during the alleged corruption inside the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).