‘Everyone should be able to speak freely’: Ben&Ben’s Paolo reacts to criticism of Duque comment


Posted at Jun 06 2020 06:03 PM

Ben&Ben's Paolo Guico came under fire for his comments asking for Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to step down. Twitter: @PaoloBenjamin_

MANILA—Nowadays, it feels like there's an endless amount of trolls who prowl social media to rebut any form of criticisms, or make any kind of sensible online debate impossible. 

So it's no surprise that many are terrified to speak up.

But according to Ben&Ben's Paolo Guico, "Everyone should be able to speak freely," especially with topics that affect our nation. 

The singer came under fire Friday after he joined calls for the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Guico, who together with his Ben&Ben bandmates have raised more than P4 million for frontliners, was criticized for his comments, some of which implied he was a nobody. 

He responded to one in particular by listing down his credentials, though he was quick to add that regardless of one's background in education or work, "EVERYONE can be of service." 

"EVERYONE should be able to speak freely," he said.

Guico made headlines for his widely retweeted post on Twitter, in which he told Duque: "After countless chances we've given you, it's crystal clear with the numbers and facts: you have failed us." 

"Please resign." 

It was in response to Duque blaming his department staff for the delay in the release of law-mandated benefits for health workers who died or were infected with COVID-19.

After receiving criticism, Duque said that while he "expressed disappointment towards some members of my team, I acknowledge that this is still my responsibility as [health secretary]."