President Duterte to Duque: “I had to ask you several times to stay on the job because we need you.“
PRESIDENT DUTERTE — The Philippine President commended Health Secretary Francisco Duque III for doing a good job in leading the country’s pandemic response, saying that Filipinos will not forget him.
in his late-night “Talk to the People” public address on Monday, President Duterte asked Duque to give COVID-19 updates. After hearing about the recent developments, the President proceeded to praise him.
According to President Duterte, he understands that Duque had to make several sacrifices because the Philippines needs him. The President also said that he had to ask Duque several times to stay on the job as the Health chief.
“You have done good sa trabaho mo, and the Filipino will never forget that,” the President told Duque. “It’s a sacrifice, really, for you to continue doing it, and I had to ask you several times to stay on the job because we need you.”
The President made the statement as the Philippines continues to record low daily coronavirus cases after experiencing a surge possibly fueled by the Omicron variant.
This wasn’t the first time the President praised Duque. Last year, the President even stood up for Duque amidst calls for his resignation or sacking because of corruption allegations against the Department of Health (DOH).
“Maski mag-isa na lang ako, I will stand for Duque even if it will bring me down,” the President said. “The rating does not really matter to me. Ang gusto ko lang magtrabaho nang matino and whatever judgment you have for me, I don’t give a sh*t.”
The President has repeatedly rejected calls for the firing of the Health chief over his response to the pandemic and the PHP 15-billion corruption allegation against state insurer PhilHealth.
President Duterte also refused to fire Duque even after the DOH battled questions on its management of some PHP 67 billion in funds to address the COVID-19 crisis.