“No amount of drama could save DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III’s face from all the irregularities on the P67 billion budget supposedly for the pandemic response and his incompetent pandemic response,” Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

“If Sec. Duque has even an ounce of conscience and delicadeza left in his body, he should immediately resign from his post and support the calls for an independent probe on the corruption issues involving the DOH,” Soriano added.

“It is enraging that billions of funds are being wasted while millions of impoverished farmers and rural families don’t have access to health facilities, no free mass testing implemented, no proper contact tracing being employed, roll-out of vaccines remain slow and the demands of our health workers for salary increase and benefits have been repeatedly ignored while COVID-19 cases keeps on surging,” Soriano said.

“Why put the blame and anger on the government agency which is only doing its job? President Duterte’s protection of Duque and the irregularities in the DOH and his cursing of COA confirms the criminal negligence of this government. The calls for ending the leadership of Duque and Duterte are just calls of the peasantry and the people for a competent, scientific and people-centered pandemic response,” Soriano ended. ###

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