Gordon: Someone might be targeting Health Secretary Duque’s position

Published June 21, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Hannah L. Torregoza

Senator Richard Gordon on Sunday expressed his belief that there are some individuals targeting the position of Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Senator Richard Gordon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Richard Gordon
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Gordon, in an interview over GMANews TV, hinted at this possibility when asked to weigh in on the Office of the Ombudsman’s investigation on Duque and other officials over allegations of corruption in connection to the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chief pointed out that even powerful nations have had their own struggles with the pandemic, that is why he believes replacing Duque while the government is in the middle of the crisis could do more harm than good.

“Ang problema lang natin dito, kapag may mga ganyan (na imbestigasyon), mukhang may mga umaasinta sa puwesto. Lalo na ngayon, maraming pera ang DOH marami ring pera ang PhilHealth, kaya siguro sinusundut-sundot ng iba ‘yan. ‘Yan lang naman ang haka-haka ko. (The problem here is that whenever there are investigations like that, it seems someone is targeting that position. Especially now, when DOH and PhilHealth have so much funds, that is why I think they are trying to push it. But that is just my conjecture),” he said.

“Merong mga (There are) issues definitely. Nobody is perfect. Pero sa tingin ko, kapag ginagawa ‘yan, usually merong umaasinta doon sa position (But in my opinion, when that is done, usually there is really someone eyeing that position)” the senator added.

Gordon, likewise, shared Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go’s view it is hard to “change horses midstream” especially if they have to start all over again.

“Magpapalit ka basta-basta eh hindi naman basta makaka-agwada yan unless talagang siga ang ilalagay dyan at berdugo kung tutuusin mahirap ayusin yan (Even if you change leadership, they can’t immediately do it on the spot, unless you put a bully or an executioner for that position, that is undeniably difficult to fix),” Gordon stressed.

Gordon said the issues being hurled against Duque are also being experienced by the PRC, particularly issues regarding the delayed reporting of COVID-19 cases.

“Kami rin mismo sa Red Cross, hirap na hirap kami diyan (even us in Red Cross are having a hard time catching up),” he said.

However, Gordon clarified and assured that he is not defending Duque, saying if there is “actual patent, clear and inevitable proof” he is liable, “he can be removed by the President.

“The President is the one that they are attacking, because they are saying the President is not doing anything about Duque,” he pointed out.