'Nakakapagtaka': Nograles says possible replacements immediately floated after Duque quit call

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2020 11:32 AM

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA- Several names were immediately floated as possible replacements of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III right after senators called for his resignation, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Friday.

Nograles said it was "very strange" that there were already "many" names that were being suggested as possible replacements for Duque.

"Nakakapagtaka na ang dami nang lumabas na pangalan. May mga fino-float na ipapalit sa kanya, na sinu-suggest na ipapalit kay Secretary Duque," he said in a virtual press briefing.

(It's strange that there were already many names being floated as his possible replacement.)

"Nakakapagtaka po na ganun ang nangyari...It's just very strange," he said.

Several senators on Thursday signed a resolution that said Duque should step down due to “failure of leadership” in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Duterte, however, decided to keep Duque as the country's health chief.

"Lahat kami sa (All of us at the) Cabinet uttered our 100 percent support kay Secretary Duque and shortly after, the President uttered his decision that he will keep Secretary Duque," Nograles said.

Duque on Friday said he did not understand the supposed "lack of leadership" that the senators cited as a ground for him to step down, and asked instead for "clear, concrete suggestions" on improving the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Hindi ko po alam kung ano pang dapat kong gagawin. Ginawa naman po natin lahat ng magagawa natin," he told DZMM.

(I don't know what else I should do. We did everything we could.)