Edited photo? Duque claps back with proofs of attendance in Navotas event

August 7, 2020 - 5:30 AM
One of the photos where Filipinos claimed was edited (Department of Health/Released)

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday shared more photos as proofs of his visit to Navotas to dispel rumors that one of the snapshots was only doctored or “photoshopped.”

In a tweet on August 6, Duque said that he arrived at the city with the rest of his team, including testing czar Vince Dizon.

“People online are claiming that one of my photos during a coordination meeting with Cong Tiangco in Navotas City was edited,” he said.

“To put an end to it, here are more photos showing that I attended the event with Cong John Rey, Sec Vince, Usec Bong, Dir Paz and the rest of my team,” he added.

The photos the health chief was referring to came from the post of the Department of Health on Facebook where it was announced that the he and other officials went to Navotas to provide test kits and other supplies to the city’s local government.

Health Secretary Duque, Undersecretary Vega, and Secretary Dizon visited Navotas City to ensure that they have adequate…

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Tuesday, August 4, 2020


In the Facebook post, the DOH said that health authorities visited the city “to ensure that they have adequate supplies, isolation facilities, and human resources to respond against COVID-19.”

“The team handed over the donations of test kits and other supplies from the Nat’l Govt and IATF to the City Government of Navotas. The team also committed to sharing City’s best practices with other LGUs,” the post read.

Duque also met with Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco and District Representative John Rey Tiangco, and the local officials “showcased” how the city managed to curb the number of COVID-19 cases among their constituents.

“The city’s proactive isolation and aggressive testing have significantly lowered its positivity rate from almost 30% to 13%,” the post read.

DOH also attached photos of their official meeting at the place.

Some Filipinos, however, cast doubt on the authenticity of the photo where a Duque transferred a box of supplies to one of the staff of the city.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

One Facebook user noted that the hands of Duque appeared to be edited on the hand of the male staff.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

These speculations prompted the health secretary to took to social media and dismiss the “false claims.”

Embattled Duque

President Rodrigo Duterte previously defended Duque anew amid continuous calls for his resignation due to his perceived failure to handle the public health crisis.

During his last national address on August 2, Duterte argued that Duque did not “import” the deadly virus to the country, therefore should be blame-free.

“For example, Secretary Duque, they want your neck. Then I asked you, ‘Okay, you want me to fire Duque?’ Let me be satisfied. Anong kasalanan ng tao? He did not import COVID,” Duterte said.

The public, including some lawmakers, recalled Duque’s failures throughout the pandemic, including his reluctance to the idea of imposing a travel ban on Chinese nationals last January, which was the month when infections just started to rise across the world.

Last July, Duque drew backlash among Filipinos after claiming that the country had flattened the curve since April.

To “flatten the curve” is the phrase that refers to the goal of being able to manage or contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.