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Philippine VP Sara Duterte quits cabinet ahead of midterm election

Philippines' Vice President Sara Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos teamed up to a landslide victory in the May 2022 election
Philippines' Vice President Sara Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos teamed up to a landslide victory in the May 2022 election - Copyright AFP/File JAM STA ROSA
Philippines' Vice President Sara Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos teamed up to a landslide victory in the May 2022 election - Copyright AFP/File JAM STA ROSA

Philippine Vice President Sara Duterte said Wednesday she has resigned from the cabinet of President Ferdinand Marcos, with tense relations between the two families turning into a public rift in recent months.

Duterte gave no clear reason for her move but she leaves her post as education minister ahead of mid-term and local elections scheduled for next year. 

The vice president’s father, former president Rodrigo Duterte, and Marcos have had a very public falling out as both families attempt to shore up their rival support bases and secure key positions ahead of the mid-term elections and presidential polls in 2028.

Marcos and Duterte had teamed up to a landslide victory in the May 2022 presidential and vice presidential election.

Duterte “tendered her resignation as member of the cabinet” and will no longer serve as secretary of education, presidential spokesperson Cheloy Garafil told reporters, adding she would continue as vice president.

Duterte also resigned as the vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

As vice president, the 46-year-old would take over as president in case Marcos, 66, dies or becomes unable to perform his duties at any time during their six-year terms. 

Garafil said the vice president declined to give her reasons, but Marcos has accepted the resignation. 

“We thank her for her service,” Garafil added. 

In a separate press conference, Duterte said she met with the president to inform him about her resignation effective July 19.

“Every story, no matter how beautiful, has to end,” she told reporters. 

“Even if I will not be the head of the department of education, I will continue to be a mother who will watch and stand for the rights of every teacher and every student in the Philippines.”

She thanked the teachers, partner agencies and the national government for their commitment to improving the country’s education system.

– Plummeting relationship –

Relations between the Marcos and Duterte families have plummeted in the past two years.

Fronting a rally of supporters in his home city Davao on January 28, Duterte accused Marcos of being a “drug addict”, while his youngest son Sebastian Duterte said Marcos should resign.

Marcos hit back the next day, claiming that his predecessor’s long-term use of the powerful opioid fentanyl had taken a toll on his health.

Neither man provided evidence of the other’s alleged drug use.

The former president has also urged the military and police to unseat Marcos if he pursued his proposal to amend the constitution, and threatened to get his southern home region of Mindanao to secede.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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