Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

MANILA – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday shunned calls for his resignation, saying he would continue to serve “to the best of his abilities,” especially at this time when the country is facing a pandemic.

Duque issued the statement after several senators filed a resolution calling for his immediate resignation due to “failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight, and inefficiency” in handling the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We are at war with an invisible enemy, which to this day remains unpredictable. As such, we adapt and innovate. Despite all the challenges and limited resources, DOH (Department of Health) is making sure that we, as a nation, have a fighting chance against Covid-19,” he said.

Duque urged the public to work as a team fighting for everyone’s safety, saying fighting a pandemic is “not a fight of one man or of one agency.”

“We will answer these allegations in due time. But right now, we will continue to be in the trenches with our health care workers and front-liners. I will continue to serve the country to the best of my abilities. Magtulungan po tayo (Let’s work together),” he added.

In the resolution, the senators said Duque’s failures have resulted in “poor planning, delayed response, lack of transparency, and misguided and flip-flopping policies and measures in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic that endangered and continue to endanger the lives of our health care professionals, other front-liners, and the Filipino people.” (ia/

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