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JV: Duque good choice at DoH

A political ally of President Duterte said yesterday he is optimistic that new Department of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III would be confirmed by the powerful 25-member Commission on Appointments.

“He (Duque) is a good choice,’’ Sen. Joseph Victor “JV’’ Ejercito, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, said during a DWIZ radio interview.

He said that Duque has an ‘’unquestionable integrity’’ and “his credibility is very high.’’

“He has a good track record. I have known him quite some time I am excited to work with him,’’ Ejercito said.

Ejercito, a CA member, said Duque would be a good Cabinet member unlike others “na nagwawala.” He did not elaborate.

“Sana hindi ma-reject,’’ he said of Duque’s chances of his appointment being confirmed by the bicameral body as both advocate of the improvement of hospitals.

Duque served as Health Secretary during the Arroyo administration.

Ejercito admitted that the CA let go of several good materials for the Duterte Cabinet such as Secretaries Gina Lopez (Environment and Natural Resources) Paulyn Jean Ubial (Health), and Judy Taguiwalo (Social Welfare and Development).

During the closed-door voting at the CA, Ejercito said he voted for the confirmation of Ubial’s appointment, adding that he is biased in favor of Ubial being a career professional who spent 29 good years at the DoH.

“We have rejected too many good people,’’ he added. (Mario B. Casayuran)