Palace doubts anybody wants Duque's post as DOH chief
Medical staff from the National Children's Hospital take part in a vigil to honour their fallen colleagues and call on the government to provide ample protection to frontline staff and the immediate release of their bonuses, in Quezon City on April 28, 2020.
AFP/Maria Tan
Palace doubts anybody wants Duque's post as DOH chief
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 22, 2020 - 6:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday expressed doubt on the claim that someone is eyeing the post of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who has been criticized for his alleged mishandling of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the health secretary has the most difficult job during a pandemic.

"I do not know of anyone who is aspiring to become Secretary of Health now," Roque said at a press briefing.  

"This is the most difficult job during the time of COVID. It seems that no matter how ambitious you are, it's hard to aspire to such a difficult job," he added.

Various sectors have called for the resignation of Duque, accusing him of failure of leadership and inefficiency in implementing the government's measures against the pandemic.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires has also ordered a probe on the alleged anomalies in the health department's response to the virus including the delayed procurement of protective equipment and delayed release of compensation for medical frontliners.

Malacañang has expressed confidence that Duque would be able to answer all the allegations against him.

On Sunday, Sen. Richard Gordon claimed that "many" are interested in the position of Duque but did not elaborate.

The health department has expressed readiness to cooperate with the Ombudsman's investigation and has maintained that it has been transparent in its response to COVID-19. -

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