‘Inevitable’: Lawmakers read into VP Duterte’s move

‘Inevitable’: Lawmakers read into Veep’s move

‘Inevitable’: Lawmakers read into Veep’s move

Senate President Francis Escudero. Noy Morcoso/INQUIRER.net file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Francis Escudero on Wednesday said he believed Vice President Sara Duterte’s resignation as a member of the Cabinet was unavoidable given the rift between her family and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“I believe her resignation was inevitable from the time her father, FPRRD (former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte), and her siblings and allies started attacking PBBM (President Bongbong Marcos) and members of the first family,” Escudero said in a statement.


He said its inevitability became “more pronounced” when the Vice President “was already silent and not expressing her support” on certain policy issues, such as the West Philippine Sea, the “Bagong Pilipinas” Hymn, and the Quiboloy cases and his attempted arrest, among others.


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“As the Vice President, she has every right to have policy differences with the President and I believe that people love and respect her precisely for that… for having and fighting for what she believes in and for her own beliefs,” the Senate leader noted.

“I wish her well in this, her new journey as she continues to serve our people as our Vice President,” he added.

Picking successor

In a separate statement, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III said the President should immediately prepare to appoint the next education secretary.

“This person must be someone who has worked with or in the department for decades. Someone familiar with how the department works as well as with the problems of the education sector and educational system. Someone who has dedicated his or her life to education and can show the track record for it,” Pimentel pointed out.

He declined to comment on Duterte’s future political plans.


“Whatever her reason may be for resigning as DepEd secretary, I believe that it was well thought of. I believe it was a choice that took into consideration the best interest of our people, as has always been characteristic of her. Of that, I am sure,” Sen. Ronald dela Rosa said.

He assured Duterte of his support in “whatever future decisions she is going to make to better serve the country, regardless of function and position.”

Education crisis

In the Lower House, opposition lawmakers welcomed Duterte’s resignation, saying the move could solve the country’s education crisis and that it “absolutely terminated” the UniTeam, referring to the alliance between the Dutertes and the Marcoses during the 2022 presidential election.

In a statement, House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers party list Rep. France Castro said the resignation should have come sooner as the country’s education crisis could have been solved in the more than two years the Vice President held the post.

“In resigning her post from the [National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict] we hope that the Red-tagging agency would also be abolished. It is nothing but an apparatus of the state to violate human rights and spread fake news,” she added.

The resignation of Duterte “also marks the open war between the former allies and the upcoming escalation of hostilities between the two camps,” she warned, urging President Marcos to appoint a secretary from the education sector immediately.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman agreed that Duterte’s resignation “will hopefully lead to the solution of the alarming crisis in Philippine education.”

‘A liability’

Lagman cited Duterte’s statement that she was resigning out of genuine concern for teachers and the Filipino youth, claiming that it meant “her incumbency was a liability to teachers and students.”

“It is hoped that her replacement will come from the ranks of experienced and dedicated educators who can efficiently steer and professionally manage the educational system of the country,” he said.

The lawmaker, who is president of the Liberal Party, also noted that Duterte’s departure from a prime position in the President’s Cabinet “ends with finality the increasingly tenuous partisan relations between the Duterte and Marcos political power blocs,” and “this terminates absolutely the UniTeam.”

Meanwhile, House Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s party Rep. Arlene Brosas described the resignation as a “political move” in preparation for next year’s elections, setting the stage for a potential “power struggle between the Duterte and Marcos factions.”

Brosas said that from the very start, the Vice President had “no real intention of addressing the crisis in our education system,” pointing out that her appointment “reeked of traditional political maneuverings rather than a sincere commitment to improve our schools and protect our teachers and students.”

Task Force cites gains

Meanwhile, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) said it respects the decision of Duterte to resign from her role as vice chair of the task force.

In a statement on Wednesday, the NTF-Elcac lauded Duterte’s tenure in the task force as being “marked by significant progress” in efforts to address the root causes of insurgency and promote sustainable peace in conflict-affected areas.

“Her leadership and unwavering commitment to the mission of NTF-Elcac have been instrumental in advancing our collective goal of achieving lasting peace and development in the Philippines,” said Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr., NTF-Elcac executive director.

Torres added that Duterte’s dedication to the task force resulted in numerous successful initiatives and operations that “have strengthened the resolve and capacity of our communities to stand against insurgency.”

“Her leadership has also emphasized the importance of education as a vital component in combating insurgency,” he noted.

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According to Torres, the NTF-Elcac will ensure a seamless transition and remain focused on its mandate to end local communist armed conflict in the country. —with a report from Nestor Corrales

TAGS: DepEd, Francis Escudero, NTF-ELCAC, Sara Duterte

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