Duterte tackles crisis with Cabinet, experts

April 21, 2020
Rodrigo Duterte

CNN Philippines —  President Rodrigo Duterte did not give his usual address on Monday night but still met with Cabinet members and experts to discuss the current COVID-19 situation in the country.

In a tweet, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte attended a meeting with his Cabinet and experts from the medical field.

In attendance were Health Department Secretary Francisco Duque III, Interior Department Secretary Eduardo Año, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of Finance Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua, and COVID-19 response chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr.

Senate President Tito Sotto and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano were also present, as with medical experts which included former health secretaries and epidemiologists.

Earlier Monday, Inter-Agency Task Force Spokesman Karlo Nograles said in a CNN Philippines interview that several options and recommendations with regards to the pandemic were to be presented to Duterte in the said meeting.

Nograles clarified that there are no final recommendations yet on which actions the president should take, especially on the matter regarding the extension of the enhanced community quarantine.

"It's really up to the president what he wants to do with the set of recommendations," Nograles said.

This week marks the fourth week since Duterte received special powers to address the COVID-19 pandemic. He submitted a 19-page weekly report to Congress on Monday.

Roque is yet to discuss in a media briefing what was concluded in the meeting with Duterte.