MANILA — With a wide reach on social media owing to the popularity of his band, Ben&Ben's Paolo Guico on Friday used his platform to express concerns over the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, even urging the health department chief to resign.
"Duque, please resign," Paolo tweeted. "Wag mong isisi ang iyong kapalpakan sa mga taong nagbubuwis-buhay para sa bayan. The country badly needs strong leadership in the DOH."
Paolo was referring to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III's statement on Thursday blaming his subordinates for the delay in the release of law-mandated benefits for health workers who died or were infected with COVID-19.
"Nakakahiya talaga, sir eh," Duque had told President Duterte in a meeting in Davao City, as he criticized his own team for their supposed "lack of sense of urgency."
Paolo, in his widely retweeted post, told Duque: "After countless chances we've given you, it's crystal clear with the numbers and facts: you have failed us. Please resign."
"Di rin pwedeng sabihing 'di binigyan ng respeto ang liderato mo. Binigyan ka ng lahat ng respeto dahil pinagkatiwalaan ka eh. Sa pag-lead ng DOH sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis," Paolo added.
"Pero binigo mo yun. Numbers don't lie. Ngayon kami naman ang bigyan mo ng respeto. Respectfully resign, sir."
On June 4, the Philippines breached 20,000 in recorded cases of coronavirus, among them 984 deaths.
After receiving criticisms for directing blame on his subordinates, Duque on Friday said that while he "expressed disappointment towards some members of my team, I acknowledge that this is still my responsibility as [health secretary]."