Francisco Duque III
Francisco Duque III

Manny Pacquiao is one of the 15 Filipino senators who are not satisfied with how Francisco Tiongson Duque III is handling the situation related to the the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On April 16, 2020, the senators filed a resolution calling for the resignation of the Philippines’ Department of Health secretary.

Duque was accused of failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight and inefficiency in the performance of his mandate as the secretary of the DOH. According to the 15 senators, this resulted in poor planning, delayed response, lack of transparency and misguided COVID-19 pandemic that endangered the lives of our healthcare professionals, other frontliners and the Filipino people.

Appointed as the interim DOH secretary on October 26, 2017, Duque was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on February 9, 2018. Here is the complete list of 15 senators of the Philippines who want him to resign:

  1. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III
  2. Ralph Recto
  3. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri
  4. Sonny Angara
  5. Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay
  6. Grace Poe
  7. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao
  8. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian
  9. Francisco Tolentino
  10. Joel Villanueva
  11. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa
  12. Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos
  13. Manuel “Lito” Lapid
  14. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
  15. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson Sr.

Sotto is the Senate President while Recto is the Senate President Pro Tempore. Zubiri is the Senate Majority Leader.

While Recto’s name was on the resolution calling for the resignation of Duque, the senator’s signature was not affixed. But according to Sotto, the Senate President Pro Tempore was also a co-author.

The DOH secretary has yet to respond to the resolution. Meanwhile, here is a message from Pacquiao: