Lacson: 170,000 other physicians may be 'more competent' than Duque

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2020 04:38 PM

MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Monday said there are 170,000 licensed physicians in the Philippines who may be more capable of leading the Department of Health during the coronavirus pandemic as reports of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III's possible replacement surfaced.

Reports that President Rodrigo Duterte is already scouting for a replacement for Duque came out over the weekend, a week after the Health chief was criticized for saying the Philippines was already in experiencing the second wave of coronavirus cases.

"There are many among the 170,000 licensed physicians in the country who may be more honest and competent," Lacson said in a text message when asked for a reaction about the alleged hunt for Duque's replacement.

Malacañang has denied that Duque has lost the trust and confidence of the President.

(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.

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

"Habang di pa po natatanggal eh mayroon pa pong trust and confidence," he added.

(Until he is removed, there is still trust and confidence.)

Last month, the Palace also defended Duque after Lacson and 13 other senators called for the Health Secretary's resignation over his alleged failure of leadership and ineffective management of the coronavirus crisis in the country.