Palace: No scolding for Duque over wrong 'flattening' of pandemic curve remarks

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 16 2020 01:44 PM

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

MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte did not scold Health Secretary Francisco Duque III over erroneous remarks that the Philippines has "successfully flattened" the coronavirus pandemic curve, Malacañang said Thursday.

Duque on Wednesday initially said the country flattened the pandemic curve in April, only to retract his statement on the same day to say that what he meant was a "bent" in the curve. 

After causing public confusion, the health chief was seen in a meeting with the President on Wednesday night.

"Wala pong pagsabon na nangyari," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(There was no scolding that happened.)

Roque said Duque immediately informed him of the erroneous remarks which were also corrected.

"Matapos nangyari yan, tumawag agad sa akin si Sec. Duque at sinabi nga niya na parang mali yung salitang nagamit niya, sabi ko korekin lang natin," Roque said.

(After the incident, Sec. Duque immediately called me and informed me that he used the wrong word. I told him that let's just correct it.)

"Kinorek lang po. Di naman na-flatten, nabali at ang ibig sabihin niya eh mukha talagang kumonti ang kaso matappos tayo mag ECQ (enhanced community quarantine)," he added.

(It was just corrected. It wasn't flattened but bent. And what he meant was that there were fewer cases after the ECQ.)

This was not the first time that Duque drew flak for his remarks in relation to the pandemic.

In May, the health chief also announced that the Philippines was already seeing a second wave of infections only for the Palace to clarify that Duque only had a "different opinion."