VP Sara resigns from Cabinet; move ‘open break’ with BBM

Vice President (VP) Sara Duterte has resigned as secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) and vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, a move a political analyst said marks her full split with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“VP Sara Duterte’s resignation from the Cabinet as education secretary and as NTF-ELCAC vice chair marks an open break with the Marcos administration and signals an intensification of the factional strife in the current regime,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan president Renato Reyes Jr. said on X.

In a press conference at the DepEd today, Wednesday, June 19, Duterte announced her move, saying she sought an audience with the President earlier in the day to tender her resignation as the secretary of education effective July 19, 2024.

Duterte said she will continue to keep an eye on DepEd, adding all she is doing “is for God, country and Filipinos.”

 Malacañang also announced Duterte’s resignation, saying the VP “declined to give a reason why.”

“She will continue to serve as Vice President. We thank her for her service,” the President Communication Office said.

Duterte’s resignation came after several public disagreements with the rest of the Marcos government, beginning from the disapproval of her requested intelligence and confidential funds for the current year worth at least PhP650 million.

Duterte also dubbed a Congress leader allied with the Marcos government as a “tambaloslos”, a mythical local creature said to have a huge mouth and a hideous face.

The Vice President openly disagreed with the President’s decision to pursue dialogues for the possible reopening of formal peace negotiation with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines s, a process her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, cancelled in 2017.

The former president also warned Marcos Jr. of a similar fate befalling his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Sr., who was ousted as president in 1986.

Former senator Antonio Trillanes III said Duterte’s words constitute a threat in line with reports that the former chief executive wants to oust the sitting president.

Presidents Marcos Jr. and Duterte had also called each other “drug addicts.”

The Duterte political dynasty had been attending rallies, including one where her younger brother and Davao City mayor Sebastian Duterte openly called for Marcos Jr.’s resignation.

Duterte ally and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, in another anti-Marcos rally, openly called on the military to withdraw support from Marcos Jr.

First Lady Lisa Araneta Marcos has confirmed that the vice president is in her bad graces, explaining snubbing in official events.

 “Bad shot na ‘yan sa akin,” Araneta-Marcos said.

Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte were running mates in the 2022 national elections under the catchword “UniTeam.” # (Raymund B. Villanueva)