February 15, 2022
MANILA — “You have done good in your post and the Filipinos will never forget that,” President Rodrigo Duterte, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino, told Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday during his weekly taped “Talk to the People” briefing.
“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,” Duterte added.
Critics — including some lawmakers — had previously called on Duque to resign from his post, mainly for two things:
What the deemed as the poor handling of the Department of Health (DOH) of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alleged irregularities in the handling of DOH funds.
In August 2021, during the height of the resignation calls, Duque said he had no problem with resigning from his post but said that he was “requested not to.”
On several occasions, Duterte had publicly defended Duque, even saying that he would reject Duque’s resignation as the health secretary had done “nothing wrong.”