Speaker wishes Sara the best; VP still ‘friendly’ with Marcos

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
Speaker wishes Sara the best; VP still �friendly� with Marcos
Speaker Martin Romualdez on February 8, 2024.
Pool photos by Noel Pabalete

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Martin Romualdez yesterday wished Vice President Sara Duterte the “best of luck” after her resignation from the Cabinet as education secretary.

Romualdez said his interaction with Duterte is “limited” since they have “different roles” in the government, noting that he is in the legislative and the Vice President in the executive branch.

“But nonetheless, we wish her the best. We wish the Vice President always the best of luck in her works and services to the Filipino people,” he said.

Duterte said she maintains a “friendly” personal relationship with President Marcos despite her resignation from his Cabinet, a move that raised questions about whether she would remain allied with the administration.

Speaking on the sidelines of her first public event since last week, Duterte said her conversation with Marcos as she personally handed her resignation letter went smoothly.

“We are still friendly with each other on a personal level… when I went to President Marcos’ office and told him I’m carrying my resignation letter, his acceptance and how we concluded our conversation went smoothly,” Duterte said over GMA News on Sunday.

After months of souring relations with members of the Marcos family, Duterte resigned from her post as secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) and vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict last Wednesday.

Sought for comment on her resignation, Duterte said letting go of her post as DepEd secretary brought her “sadness” as her interactions with teachers and students were part of the job that she held “dearly.”

While she has not yet responded to questions about the reasons that led to her resignation, the Vice President said she never considered reactions from other people, nor did she consult with her father, former president Rodrigo Duterte.

She said the decision was made for the “best interests of DepEd.”

Asked whether she was also considering resigning as vice president, she said there were no such plans and that she would, from now on, be pouring all her time on efforts of the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

Duterte said she decided to keep working for 30 days for an orderly transition for the next DepEd secretary.

In her resignation letter addressed to Marcos, she said she had already prepared a transition plan for all the nine strands of the DepEd, as well as for all the posts chaired by DepEd and the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization or SEAMEO. Duterte is SEAMEO Council president.

She will stay aboard as DepEd secretary until July 19, when she officially hands the agency’s reins to her successor. — Neil Jayson Servallos

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