Is Duterte replacing health secretary Duque?

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Unless the President directly says it, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III continues to enjoy the trust of President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Monday following a report that the chief executive is looking to replace the health chief.

If the President loses confidence in the capabilities of any Cabinet member, he may replace the said official, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

“We all serve at the pleasure of the President. Kung nawalan po ng tiwala ang Presidente, anytime, any Cabinet member can be removed,” Roque said. “Habang di pa po natatanggal eh mayroon pa pong trust and confidence.”

[Until he is not yet removed, it means that there is still trust and confidence. Until he is removed, there is still trust and confidence.]

Roque made the remark after The Philippine Star reported that Duterte is planning to replace Duque.

The health chief was embroiled in controversy for saying that the Philippines is already seeing a second wave of COVID-19 infections, a remark that was denied by Malacañang.

Earlier this year, Duterte rejected calls for Duque’s resignation last month after senators criticized the health chief’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the country.

IRR out for Public Service Act

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