MANILA – A ranking government official Thursday said Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque remains in his position as the country’s health chief amid the coronavirus crisis and calls by majority of senators for him to resign.
Spin-PH reported and quoted executive secretary Salvador Medialdea as saying that President Rodrigo Duterte has made a decision for Duque to remain in his post.
“The President has made a decision for Health Secretary Duque to stay put,” Spin-PH said as it quoted Medialdea in its report late Thursday night filed by “The Staff.”
The online publication also said that returning presidential spokesman Harry Roque echoed Medialdea’s statement in his press briefing.
“As I have been repeatedly saying in the past, every Cabinet member serves at the pleasure of the President and until they are fired by the President, the President continues to have full trust and confidence in them,” he said.
The embattled health chief found himself anew on the firing line after majority of the senators who are mostly allied with Malacanang called for his immediate resignation earlier in the day Thursday.
Led by senate president Tito Sotto, the 15 senators cited “negligence, lack of foresight, and inefficiency,” in calling for Duque’s resignation and those accordingly led to the nationwide spread of the killer virus they said.
At the same time, the Palace made it clear that it has no part in the clamor for Duque to resign even if majority of the senators are known political allies of the President.
“We do not have any position. We do not have anything to do with these initiatives seeking the resignation of the secretary of health,” said Roque.
Besides, behind the calls for Duque to resign, Malacanang said it expects him to work harder if only to prove he’s worthy for the job.