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Amid criticism, Duterte defends Duque for slow response to coronavirus: Pinopolitika lang s’ya!

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday defended Health Secretary Francisco Duque III for his alleged slow response in dealing with the current novel coronavirus situation in the Philippines.

Speaking before local chief executives in Pasay, Duterte described Duque, who previously served as Secretary of Health in the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, as “the most seasoned” member of his Cabinet.

“Duque has the expertise. Ano mga kalaban lang nila ‘yan sa politika. But he is the most seasoned Cabinet member diyan. Maniwala ka. Matagal na, ilang presidente ‘yan siya eh,” the President said.

“Matagal na ‘yan siya sa gobyerno. And I’m sure as a doctor and one who has astounded several conferences abroad and local, he has the working knowledge on how to cope up,” according to him.

As of early Monday, the number of people killed by the novel coronavirus, which originated in a Chinese seafood market, globally has reached 909, including one death in the Philippines.

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