Zarate: 'Go's call for Duque's resignation a diversionary tactic'

An opposition leader is convinced that Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s advise for Health Secretary Francisco Duque to resign is a ploy to take off the heat of critical public opinion from the “questionable transactions” of the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management.

Facemasks face shields

During the Senate hearing on the overpricing of face masks and face shields the other day, Go advised Duque to make the “supreme sacrifice” by resigning his post in the wake of strong public censure on the reported mismanagement of P67.32 billion in COVID-19 funds by the DOH.

Zarate said Go’s action “may just be a plot to divert attention and accountability away from Pres. Duterte and his administration’s links” to the questionable transaction at the PS-DBM.

Condemnation on the reported multi-billion peso overpricing of face masks and face shields has gone viral on the social media as former Office of the President Undersecretary Christopher Lao has been linked to the controversial procurement that he Commission on Audit exposed in its 2020 Annual Audit Report of the PSa-DBM.

"Bakit ngayon lang? Ang tagal nang nananawagan ng maraming sektor para magbitiw na si Sec.Duque dahil sa kanyang kapalpakan in handling sa Covid-19 pandemic at mga isyu ng korapsyon sa kanyang ahensya. (Why only now? It has been a long time now when many sectors called for the resignation of Sec. Duque due to his failures in handling the COVID-19 pandemic and on corruption issues in his agency).” said Zarate.

“Pero, sa halip na tugunan ito, pilit pa rin syang pinagtatakpan at ipinagtatanggol ni Pres. Duterte (But instead of responding to this, he continued to cover up and defend President Duterte),” said the progressive solon.

Zarate said the public has every reason to suspect that Go’s recent call for Duque’s resignation was made because of the anomalies committed under the Duterte administration by the president’s allies and supporters.

"We urge the Senate and House to pursue the investigations regarding the anomalies in the DOH and other agencies until those responsible are held into account," said the opposition lawmaker.