Quo vadis, VP Inday Sara?

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

Where is VP Sara Duterte Carpio going now that she is no longer a member of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s Cabinet?

Her resignation from as secretary of the Department of Education and co-vice chairwoman of the NTF-ELCAC was shrouded in mystery, with no reasons given. Perhaps, this was a strategic move on her part, knowing that any reason she provided would be met with skepticism by her adversaries.

Her stay in the administration is no longer tenable in the sense that she cannot honestly be seen as an ally while her father attacks BBM without end. She had to define herself and define what she did.

Did she regret allowing herself to run as BBM’s VP? Many surveys in 2022 showed her as the top choice of possible presidential candidates. She had popularity, the money, and the machinery.

Many diehard Duterte supporters were furious and disappointed when she did not run and chose to become BBM’s VP instead. They soon regained their composure and supported her all the way.

Her father, former president Rody Duterte, was also hugely popular at that time. That fact could have contributed, in no small way, to making her win the presidency.

But it’s all water under the bridge now, it’s spilled milk Inday Sara knows she should not cry over. After all, becoming the country’s VP is not a bad thing.

Is the Duterte camp still a force to reckon with? Definitely yes! Millions still yearn for the brand of leadership that PRRD showed throughout his term. No matter what one can say about his style no one can deny the fact that the former president succeeded in instilling fear in the heart of criminals. The ordinary Filipino may not know the complexities of economic theory, but he knows what it is to walk on a street that is free from criminals.

In the coming days, we can expect PDP to have members that can be counted with the fingers of one’s hand. But that’s the fate of parties that are no longer in power. The truth is that to win the presidency, parties are only secondary.

But can Sara survive an unforgiving demolition job? It’s too early to say yes or no. Many see her as the woman to beat in 2028. Therefore, she cannot relax her guard. She should have learned a thing or two from former vice president Jejomar Binay, who aspired to have the highest post in the land but ended up demolished.

Will her leaving the administration work in her favor? For one thing, she will no longer be carrying the administration's baggage. The honeymoon period between the Filipino people and the administration has long been gone.

On the other hand, she will have zero influence in the bureaucracy. She will not have the resources that the power of a Cabinet secretary has.

But she can use her time to go around the country to meet her fellow citizens. Everybody knows that the vice president is mainly a spare tire unless given a specific task by the president. But that does not mean she is helpless. As vice president, Diosdado Macapagal roamed around the country, shaking as many hands as possible, and won the presidency when he ran. Can VP Sara use the same formula as Macapagal?

The rest, such as the presidency, will be a matter of fate.

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