Senators dismayed by Duque’s lack of effort to improve leadership – Lacson

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MANILA, Philippines — Senators are disappointed by what they see as a lack of effort by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to improve his leadership after a recent Senate hearing uncovered more lapses in the government’s response to the coronavirus disease pandemic.

“Honestly, we were more dismayed, more disappointed. It seems there was no effort,” Lacson said in Filipino in an interview with DWIZ when asked about Senate’s opinion if Duque’s leadership was impressive or disappointing.

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“That’s what you call hubris,” he added. “Because he wasn’t removed, whatever calls you make or whatever lapses I make, the President still loves me. He won’t remove me. Isn’t that called hubris? Too much self-confidence, your efficiency is affected.”

Lacson made the statement in reference to an earlier remark made by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque that Duque still “serves at the pleasure of the appointing authority,” meaning President Rodrigo Duterte.

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Also recently, Duque’s leadership was questioned when senators flagged overpriced medical equipment purchased by the Department of Health (DOH) for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senators were also alarmed over Duque’s pronouncement that the Philippines was now on the second wave of COVID-19 infections, which Malacañang had already contradicted.

Senators also asked Duque not to downplay inaccurate figures of DOH on the new coronavirus cases in the country.

The UP COVID-19 Response Team spotted errors in DOH data of patients infected with the respiratory ailment including changes of ages, residence and there was also an instance that a patient was reported dead but was actually live.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Duterte should eventually decide on the fate of Duque over the issues in data and mass testing.

“At a certain point, the President needs to face this problem if this the way it’s going to turn out. The credibility of the government is adversely affected by this lack of testing and lack of coordinated information,” he said in another interview with DWIZ when asked about how to address Duque’s supposed missteps in leadership.

/atm

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