Why is VP Duterte more into matters outside DepEd? – ex-OVP spokesman | Inquirer News

Why is VP Duterte more into matters outside DepEd? – ex-OVP spokesman

/ 07:57 PM December 06, 2023

The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo is poised to seek legal action against the journalists and news organizations that ran a fake story about the presidential candidate, with his spokesperson saying on Monday that it is dangerous to let these actions be the norm. gutierrez impeachment

Barry Gutierrez, who used to be spokesperson of the Office of the Vice President. (File photo by NOY MORCOSO / INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, a former lawmaker who also used to be the spokesperson of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) spokesperson, is asking why Vice President Sara Duterte seems to be more invested in matters outside the Department of Education (DepEd).

“It’s quite evident that Vice President Sara Duterte has been actively involved in matters that are beyond her responsibilities as the Secretary of Education. Her attempt to involve herself in issues outside of her responsibility like questions on allowing the ICC [International Criminal Court] to investigate [the drug war killings], the conduct of peace talks between the government and communist rebels, meddling in foreign relations by greeting China on its anniversary, and ribbon cutting events are concerning,” Gutierrez said in a statement issued on Tuesday.


“Yes, it’s common for politicians to check different issues and do other activities, but the extent of Vice President Duterte’s involvement in issues outside her primary function raises questions about her focus and priorities as Secretary of Education,” he added.


Education demands more attention

According to Gutierrez, the education sector demands more attention from Duterte.

“There are a lot of problems faced by the education sector, from shortage in teachers, lack of infrastructure and learning materials, up to the effectiveness of the curriculum in public schools. Based on the World Bank report this 2023, 9 out of 10 of Filipino students aged 10 do not have the appropriate ability to read. This is proof of a severe education crisis in the country,” Gutierrez said.

“If Vice President Duterte finds the demands of the Secretary of Education overwhelming or incompatible with her interests and skills, it might be prudent for her to consider stepping down from this role,” he added.

INQUIRER.net has sought a response from the OVP to Gutierrez’s claims but has not replied as of posting time.

Confidential funds controversy

Duterte has been the target of controversy for the latter part of 2023, especially when she was criticized for P125 million in confidential funds of the OVP in 2022, when the original budget crafted under her predecessor, Leni Robredo, did not have this entry.

Opposition lawmakers said what Duterte did was illegal, but Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman and Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo maintained that the transactions were above board.


During the budget deliberations, Duterte also attracted scrutiny after she said that people opposing her request for confidential funds — P150 million for DepEd and P500 million for OVP — were enemies of peace.

Eventually, the House leadership decided that confidential funds of civilian agencies, including OVP and DepEd, should be diverted to offices securing the West Philippine Sea.

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TAGS: Barry Gutierrez, Office of the Vice President, Sara Duterte

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