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Leachon resigns as DOH adviser, won’t run after position

Dr. Tony Leachon

Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa accepted the resignation of Dr. Anthony Leachon as Special Advisor on Non-communicable Diseases.

In their communication, the two experts in the field of medicine remained in good terms, with Herbosa expressing hope that Leachon will continue helping through suggestions and Leachon assuring his readiness and that of the civil society to help the Secretary.

Leachon said the hearing in Congress where his qualification was questioned by Cong. Janet Garin was an eye-opener for him, saying he will not defend his qualifications, adding:” I can work without compensation which I did in 2012 when I worked as one peso consultant of DOH Sec. Enrique Ona for noncommunicable diseases that led to the passage of the landmark SIN TAX law of 2012 or even outside of the DOH to help reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases , which currently kill 500,000 a year or 1,500 people a year.”

The renowned doctor said he does not have to prove anything and will not be chasing any person or position.

“I don’t want to respond to the statement regarding my qualifications as a public health expert. I just want to be quiet about it in the meantime to protect my family , loved ones and persons believing in my advocacy for a better healthcare system,” he said.

He added: “But I couldn’t shake it off my head. I did my evening exercise last night after coming back from 2 huge humanitarian partnership programs. I had a good sleep. When I woke up this morning with the same thought and faced with several messages from caring friends. I paused and reflected….If I would answer then that accusation gets a life of its own. It’s not good to be defending one’s qualification in the public eye…honor. Integrity. Courage. These are values I dearly keep in my heart since birth and hope to carry on till my dying days. History will remember one’s contributions in the future. ”

Leachon said he was invited to join by Sec. Herbosa and did not volunteer himself, citing that he and Herbosa worked together during the COVID pandemic as national advisers to the national TaskForce.

“It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into personal lives and get on with our national agenda,” he said.

“And so today , I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the political moves to discredit people doing their jobs and to repair the image of our national discourse, and to return our full attention and focus to all the challenges and all the promise for the next generation of Filipinos,” Leachon added.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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