Wed. Jul 28th, 2021

MANILA – A hard-hitting columnist from Mindanao has recommended straight to President Rodrigo Duterte to remove Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque from office.

Through his syndicated column, Messages from Mindanao, Serafin Ledesma, Jr. strongly recommended to the Chief Executive the removal from office of Duque for his “lackadaisical” performance in the coronavirus war.

“Sir, get rid of this lame dook!,” was the title of his column piece in obvious reference of Duque for the President to decisively act on before the country surrenders in the COVID-19 battle where Duque is accordingly supposed to lead.

“Today we are engaged in a war never before conceived and expected by the genius in warfare, Covid-19. Tasked to lead the battle is Health Secretary Francisco Duque,” Ledesma said.

But “sadly, while the war was brewing in Hubei, China, he watched akimbo and failed to draw a battle plan. When the enemy crept into our shores, he was so lackadaisical when he was supposed to lead and execute the battle strategies,” Ledesma added.

“Unfortunately, he has none,” Ledesama said. “At that time, the Philippines did not even have a single testing kit, and we had to send to Australia, thousands of miles away, the swabs taken from patients suspected to have been infected by Covid-19.”

The multi-awarded wordsmith from Southern Philippines also chided Duque for not arming well front-liners – doctors and nurses and other health workers – before sending them into battle.

They “severely lacked their only battle gears. Personal protective equipment (PPEs) and masks” Ledesma said.

“Duque is overwhelmed by the problem and regrettably paralyzed. Weeks had elapsed but he failed to place orders for those necessary gears. He simply waits in the bend for donations,” Ledesma added.

An official of the Philippine Medical Association reported that there are now 17 doctors who died while in the frontline battling the highly-infectious coronavirus disease.

Their fate could have greatly avoided and prevented if there was enough supply of personal protective equipment for health workers PMA Commission of Legislation chairman Dr. Oscar Tinio said.

The latest figure came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte thanked frontline health workers who died while helping COVID-19 patients.

“Ang death rate ng mga doctor na namamatay (The death rate among the doctors) versus the total death is about 5%. It’s going to go up,” said Tinio. “If the situation is not properly addressed” by the DOH.

“With the billions that the government had set aside for these battle gears and ammunitions Duque does not know where and when to start. In the meantime, the number of casualties, our front-liners included are dead and are dying,” Ledesma added.

Lastly, Ledesma called on to the Chief Executive straight saying: “Mr. President sir, please get rid of this fool. He is a certified lame duck.” (ia/

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