MANILA, Philippines – The relief of health reform advocate Tony Leachon as an adviser to the the Philippine’s National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 is “a big loss” in the country’s battle against the novel coronavirus, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said on Sunday, June 20.
“Dr Leachon’s exit from the COVID-19 fight scene is a big loss to our offense and defense against the unseen enemy. His expertise and services are invaluable as the country remains in the throes of the contagion,” Magalong said in a statement.
Why the loss? Magalong disclosed that he had Leachon as a “personal adviser” for Baguio City’s response against the coronavirus, which has been widely praised, even by the national government.
“He is very objective, selfless and remarkably professional. I believe we both are passionate in communicating the truth to the public. I truly lament Dr Leachon’s departure” Magalong said.
Who let Leachon go? On June 13, Leachon criticized the Department of Health’s response to the virus, saying on Twitter and Facebook that it “lost focus in everything.” A few days later on June 17, Leachon disclosed that he had been asked to resign over the critical posts.
In a statement on June 17 evening, NTF chief implementor Carlito Galvez said Leachon was sacked because his posts “jeopardized” the government’s messaging. He added that President Rodrigo Duterte himself, who has been criticized for his muddled speeches under the pandemic, was vexed by Leachon’s posts. – Rappler.com
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