Sara Duterte hails 'true friends' after backlash over secret funds | Inquirer News

Sara Duterte hails ‘true friends’ after backlash over secret funds

/ 03:36 PM November 11, 2023

Sara Duterte pays tribute to 'true friends' following backlash over secret funds

Vice President Sara Duterte attends the Senate’s plenary deliberations on the 2024 budget of her office on Thursday, November 9, 2023. Duterte announced Thursday that she will no longer pursue the Office of the Vice President’s request for P500 million in confidential funds next year. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

DAVAO CITY — Vice President Sara Duterte on Friday paid tribute to “true friends” who had stood by her family amid recent controversies surrounding her proposed confidential funds and political realignments.

“It is true that the political side of our family is going through a rough patch right now,” Duterte told reporters who huddled with her after an event with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) at the SMX Convention Center here.


She said that the people should be able to distinguish politics from her work in national governance.


The House of Representatives had decided to strip Duterte of her confidential funds next year amounting to P650 million – P500 million for the Office of the Vice President and P150 million for the Department of Education, which she also heads. She told senators on Thursday, November 9, that she was dropping her requests for the secret funds to avoid any divisions.

Duterte expressed gratitude to Senator Imee Marcos, the older sister of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for continuing to support the Duterte family.

After the Vice President’s father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, was rebuffed by top leaders of the House for calling the chamber a “rotten” institution, the senator vowed to stand by him “even if I am the only one left.”

“I, like my father,” she said, “am loyal and stand up for true friends in hardships and more severe hardships, in countless joys and a tremendous amount of suffering.”

“That is the legacy left to me, to us, by my father. Real unity, a unity that is not just lip service, a unity that means being one,” the senator said in a statement.

Marcos was the only governor who supported the older Duterte’s presidential bid.


Duterte refused to comment on the removal from the House leadership of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo and Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, but she had a sympathetic message for them.

“In politics, we always say there are no permanent friends and enemies. As a politician, it is truly heartwarming if you find another politician who is a true friend. That is why congressman Ungab and congresswoman Arroyo have my full support as a politician and as a friend,” Duterte said.

Duterte attended the ceremony for the signing of the Records of Discussion for the Comprehensive and Sustainable Urban Development Master Plan for Metropolitan Davao between NEDA and JICA.

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Asked to comment on possibilities for the 2028 presidential race, she said: “The future is far too distant for us to speculate right now what will happen in 2028.”

TAGS: confidential and intelligence funds, Sara Duterte

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