Duterte tells Duque: ‘This is not the time for you to resign’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has refused to let go of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
In a televised speech Monday, Duterte told his appointed health chief: “Secretary Duque, this is not the time for you to resign. I have heard stories about, you’re going to resign. I have full trust in you. Ang akin lang naman diyan ‘yung corruption.”
“There’s an investigation going on, let it be, if you’re not guilty of corruption…ang kalaban ko lang ho ‘yung corruption,” he added.
The President was referring to the investigation led by the Department of Justice on the alleged corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), where Duque also serves as ex-officio chairman.
In response, Duque thanked the President for his continued trust.
The Senate Committee of the Whole, which conducted an investigation into the PhilHealth fund mess, recently recommended the filing of criminal charges against Duque and several others over the allegedly questionable release of billions of funds under the agency’s emergency cash advance measure.
Duque, who vowed to clear his name, has since dismissed the committee’s findings as “baseless” that were made on “mere allegations alone.”
Aside from criminal charges, the Senate panel also called on Duterte to replace Duque and appoint a new health secretary “who has a stronger will to fight corruption.”
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