Sara Duterte’s resignation ‘marks open war between former allies’

MANILA. Vice President Sara Duterte.
MANILA. Vice President Sara Duterte.Photo from Inday Sara Duterte Facebook page

THE resignation of Vice President Sara Duterte as the secretary of the education department and as vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) is a “declaration of war against President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

This was bared by House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Partylist Representative France Castro, a staunch critic of the Dutertes, as he welcomed the Vice President’s move on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

Castro said Duterte’s resignation should have been done a long time ago.

"Sana ay mas maaga niya ito ginawa para makapaglagay ng isang kalihim ng DepEd na galing talaga sa sektor ng edukasyon at alam ang kanyang ginagawa. Nasayang ang dalawang taon para ayusin agad ang education crisis sa bansa at benepisyo at sahod ng mga guro at education support personnel," Castro said.

(I wish she had done it earlier so that a DepEd (Department of Education) secretary who actually comes from the education sector and knows what she is doing could have been appointed. Two years were wasted to immediately fix the education crisis in the country and the benefits and wages of teachers and education support personnel.)

"The resignation of Vice President Duterte from the Marcos Jr. Cabinet marks the open war between the former allies and the upcoming escalation of hostilities between the two camps," she added.

Albay Representative Edcel Lagman also expressed belief that Duterte’s resignation from the Cabinet absolutely terminates the Uniteam, which was formed during the 2022 national elections.

In a statement, Senate President Francis Escudero said Duterte’s resignation was inevitable considering the verbal attacks launched by her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, and her siblings against Marcos.

“Its inevitability became more pronounced when she was already silent and not expressing her support on certain policy issues such as the West Philippine Sea, the Bagong Pilipinas Hymn, the Quiboloy cases and attempted arrest, etc.,” Escudero said.

“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,” he added.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III urged Marcos to appoint a DepEd secretary who has worked with or in the department for decades, and someone familiar with how the department works, as well as with the problems of the education sector and educational system.

The Teachers Dignity Coalition said they have anticipated Duterte’s resignation considering the “country’s political climate.”

It said it is expecting that Marcos will consider the opinions and sentiments of teachers and the public education sector in picking up the next DepEd secretary.

Duterte submitted her “irrevocable” resignation to Marcos on Wednesday, June 19. The Presidential Communications Office reported that the resignation is effective July 19, 2024.

The Vice President refused to cite any reason for her resignation but she assured proper and orderly turnover and to continue to champion quality education in the country.

“Mga kababayan ang aking pagbibitiw ay hindi lulan ng kahinaan kundi dala ng tunay na malasakit para sa ating mga guro at kabataang Pilipino. Bagamat hindi ako magpapatuloy na mamamahala sa kagawaran, patuloy pa rin nating itataguyod ang kalidad ng edukasyon na nararapat para sa Pilipino,” she said.

(My compatriots, my resignation is not born out of weakness but by true concern for our teachers and Filipino youth. Although I will not continue to manage the department, we will continue to promote the quality of education that Filipinos deserve.)

“Hindi man ako ang tumatayong kalihim ng edukasyon, mananatili akong isang ina na nagmamatyag at titindig para sa kapakanan ng bawat guro at bawat magaaral sa Pilipinas. Para sa isang matatag na Pilipinas,” she added.

(Even though I will no longer be the secretary of education, I will remain a mother who will watch and stand up for the welfare of every teacher and every student in the Philippines. For a strong Philippines.) (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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