At a glance
- Claim: President Rodrigo Duterte replaces Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III with doctor Willie Ong.
- Rating: FALSE
- The Facts: As of writing, there are no official orders or reports stating the replacement of Duque as health secretary.
- Why we fact-checked this: The video containing the claim had accumulated over 50,000 views and 1,000 likes, 8 hours after it was published on YouTube.
On Wednesday, April 28, YouTube channel “PH Breaking NEWS” uploaded a video with the title, “KAKAPASOK LANG NEWS PRES DUTERTE SHOCKING DOC WILLIE ONG PALITAN SI DUQUE DOH SINABOTAHE SI PRRD.”
(Just-in, President Duterte, shocking Doc Willie Ong, replaces Duque, DOH sabotages [President Duterte].)
Throughout the video, an overlay contains the text, “Duque, sabotahe! Doc Willie Ong, pasok!” (Duque, saboteur! Doc Willie Ong, in!)
The video has over 50,000 views and over 1,000 likes, a mere 8 hours after publication. Rappler has debunked other claims on videos published by this channel.
This claim is false. Duque is still the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary.
As of Thursday, April 29, there have been no official government orders or breaking news reports by reliable news sources about Duque being replaced as health secretary. The audio contained in the video also makes no mention of his replacement.
Ong ran for senator in the 2019 national elections but lost. He is known for his Facebook page “Doc Willie Ong,” which has over 16 million followers.
The Philippines recently recorded over 1 million cases of COVID-19 infections since the pandemic began. The country was also ranked one of the lowest in terms of pandemic response by the Australian think tank Lowy Institute. In 2020, Duterte decided to keep Duque as health secretary despite calls for the latter’s resignation amid a what critics considered as a failed pandemic response. – Dylan Salcedo/Rappler.com
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