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ABANTE URGES DUQUE TO ‘SPARE PALACE’ AND RESIGN

When it comes to government officials, it is one’s performance in the present that matters, not one’s past.

This according to Deputy Speaker Benny Abante Jr., who on Friday said that “leaders in government should be held accountable for their actions today––not what they did years ago––especially when it comes to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, as one’s capacity to do the job could impact the lives of millions.”

The lawmaker from Manila stressed that “there are various indicators that show that Sec. Duque may not be the right man to lead the DOH during this COVID-19 crisis.”

“Take for example the case of my friend, Health Secretary Francisco Duque. I have worked with him before and can say that he did well in his first tour of duty in the DOH, as well as in other government posts,” said the solon.

“At this point, however, it may serve the greater good for Sec. Duque to step down so Malacañang does not have to repeatedly defend him and can instead focus on addressing the pandemic.”

The lawmaker from Manila stressed that “there are various indicators that show that Sec. Duque may not be the right man to lead the DOH during this COVID-19 crisis.”

“The latest COA (Commission on Audit) report is just the latest evidence that right now the leadership of the DOH is inadequate. Sec. Duque dropped the ball in efforts to procure vaccines early; he dropped the ball in overseeing PhilHealth and preventing the abuses there; and now the COA is saying he dropped the ball in handling the billions of pesos allocated by Congress for pandemic response,” lamented the solon.

“We need someone who can juggle all these responsibilities in the middle of a crisis, and right now it appears that Sec. Duque is not that person.”

The lawmaker provided another example and reiterated that an official should be judged based on his current performance, not what he did in his past.

“We need someone who can juggle all these responsibilities in the middle of a crisis, and right now it appears that Sec. Duque is not that person.”

Abante said that “in the case of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, what he did in the past during his showbiz career has gotten some attention lately.”

“But this should not distract from the fact that he has been able to fulfill his responsibilities as a local government chief, and has overseen the prompt and proper distribution of financial aid to underprivileged families in Manila,” said Abante.

“The DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) has recognized this, and even  commended the Manila LGU for a job well done. This is what matters to Manileños and our kababayan right now, not photos taken years ago.”

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