Ben&Ben vocalist Paolo Guico. Image: Twitter/@PaoloBenjamin_/Toni Muñoz

Paolo Guico, one of the vocalists of the folk-pop band Ben&Ben, once again called for the resignation of Sec. Francisco Duque III of the Department of Health (DOH).

“Duque, resign,” Guico said via Twitter yesterday, July 27, on the day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). “For the sake of our people. For the sake of our tired health workers.”

The Ben&Ben frontman has previously called for Duque’s resignation for his “failure” to organize the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the entire country remains under quarantine due to the COVID-19 crisis, the singer noted that “[five] months of incompetence is enough.”

“Again, numbers do not lie,” he added.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 82,040, as of July 27. A total number of 26,446 patients have recovered, while 1,945 people have died from the disease.

Guico stressed in a follow-up tweet that “leaders must be held accountable for their actions.”

The health secretary has been asked by various groups to step down from his position due to his supposed incompetence and lack of a “concrete plan” amid the health crisis, resulting in a high number of infection rates in the country. Some senators and a mayor have likewise expressed their dissatisfaction with Duque’s performance and echoed the call for his removal from the post.

The President nonetheless said last April that Duque will “stay put” in his position. Duterte’s announcement came right after at least 14 senators signed a resolution for the health secretary’s “immediate resignation” due to “failure of leadership, negligence, [and] lack of foresight” in addressing the pandemic. JB

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