Sara: UniTeam good only for 2022 polls

Diana Lhyd Suelto - The Philippine Star
Sara: UniTeam good only for 2022 polls
Vice President Sara Duterte at the Independence Day rites in Davao City.
STAR / File

DAVAO CITY , Philippines — Is the UniTeam still intact?

It was only for the 2022 elections, according to Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, and it has served its purpose when it launched her and President Marcos to victory.

“The UniTeam was a tandem during the 2022 elections. The elections are over, we won and we are grateful to those who supported us,” Duterte told reporters on the sidelines of the 126th Independence Day rites here in Rizal Park yesterday.

“We are not candidates anymore,” Duterte added when pressed by reporters about the status of the UniTeam.

She also joked that an oppressed person must remain attractive.

“If you are oppressed, make sure you can still wear two-piece,” Duterte quipped when reporters told her that she had lost weight.

Speculations about the status of the UniTeam have swirled, especially after the statements of First Lady Liza Marcos against the Vice President and the suspension of known allies of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

The Vice President also refused to comment on the memorandum circular of the President to include the “Bagong Pilipinas” song and pledge in weekly flag ceremonies.

At the Independence Day rites here, the hymn and pledge were not sung and recited. Local government units are only encouraged to follow the circular.

Several teachers’ groups have expressed disapproval of the order, saying it is reminiscent of the abusive practices during martial law.

“Today, we are gathered to commemorate 126 years of sovereignty as well as to honor the great legacy left to us by our forefathers, who displayed true courage and bravery. On Independence Day we do not only celebrate our liberation but also place emphasis on the importance of remembering the adversities we overcome and the ideals we fight for,” Duterte said as she led the celebration.

She also stressed that the freedom Filipinos have at present is a result of the unyielding resolve of ancestors to reclaim their rights to govern themselves as a sovereign nation, “as well as pursue the aspirations of our people and manage our own economic resources.”

“While we pay tribute to their countless sacrifices and reflect on the past, we must also look forward to the future,” she said, adding that Independence Day is not only a historical milestone but also an unceasing journey.

“It is our duty and moral responsibility to maintain our freedom by learning from our past mistake and tackling issues that obstruct our growth as a nation,” she said.

Duterte called on the youth to uphold the values of patriotism and democracy as they hold the key to the future as they go out into the world, make wise decisions that not only benefit them but the greater good.

Duterte’s younger, brother Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, was not around during the Independence Day celebration anchored on the theme “Kalayaan, Kinabukasan, Kasaysayan.” – Edith Regalado

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