Better resigned than being fired

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

A graceful exit is much preferable than an acrimonious parting of ways after the obvious and palpable falling out between the two highest officials of the nation. The resignation of the vice president as DepEd secretary should have been done many months ago. Her stay in the Cabinet has become incongruous given the relentless attacks against the president by former president Rodrigo Duterte, Congressman Paulo Duterte, and Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte.

From the mouth of the vice president herself, what many Filipinos suspected has been confirmed. The so-called UniTeam was a mere marriage of convenience not based on shared values, principles, or ideologies. President BBM and VP Sara Duterte Carpio merely coalesced to assure their victory together in the last presidential polls. Had both BBM and Carpio proceeded to run separately in 2022, candidate Leni Robredo's chance to win would have greatly improved. In fact. Carpio garnered more votes than BBM. By this time, the Dutertes are beating their breasts in deep regret because the coalition resulted in more advantages for BBM than for the vice president.

The final results in 2022 was 31,629,783 or 58.77% of the valid votes counted against Leni Robredo's 15,035,773 or 27.94% although we had our serious doubts about the honesty and accuracy of said final numbers. The third placer was Manny Pacquiao who got 3,663,113 followed by Isko Moreno who was credited with 1,933,909, and Panfilo Lacson with 892,375.

The total number of registered voters was 67,452,866 but only 55,992,243 actually voted. Vice President Carpio garnered 32,208,417 or 61.53% of the total valid votes counted. She was followed by Francis Pangilinan, Leni's running mate, with 9,329,207 or 17.82% and Tito Sotto with 8,251,267 or 15.70%. Mindanao and Visayan voters gave Marcos a total of almost 20 million while Inday Sara got much less from Luzon. Thus, Marcos got much more from the coalition than Duterte did.

Had Inday Sara proceeded to run for president in 2022, she would have won over BBM and Robredo. To be blamed for this marriage of convenience is former president GMA who brokered the compromise. As an experienced traditional politician, GMA feared that if Pacquiao and Isko Moreno withdrew and supported Leni Robredo, it would be difficult for BBM to win.

Thus, the rushed coalition was a product of horse trading and political maneuvering. No principle was considered, no shared values were discussed and no ideology was ever taken into consideration. The unity was merely to secure victory and not for the greater interests of the people. That was really a marriage of convenience and the rest is history. The DepEd was not what Inday Sara wanted. She has no degree in Education and she would find it hard to lead many career educators who are mostly holders of master’s and doctorate degrees in education.

Inday Sara asked for the Department of National Defense, claiming that she is a graduate of the National Defense College and is a reservist colonel. But the president's military advisers and the first lady apparently vetoed the idea. When she was given the DepEd portfolio, she demanded millions in allocations for so-called intelligence funds both for DepEd and for the Office of the Vice President. Vice President Robredo never asked for such a fund, and no vice president since the time of President Emilio Aguinaldo ever made such a strange demand. There has never been a DepEd secretary who also demanded for such budgetary allocation. And yet, in her first year in DepEd, she spent many millions in a matter of a few weeks. BBM was just very patient with her, perhaps grateful for the 2022 coalition. But subsequent events broke up the UniTeam.

The tandem between BBM and Inday Sara was bound to break and it was only a matter of time. I have a feeling that the Palace was about to demand her resignation. To preempt the embarrassment of being fired, the vice president did not give BBM the pleasure of firing her. She tendered her resignation. The 30-day notice is not even necessary. If the first lady and other anti-Duterte Marcos loyalists in the Palace would have their way, the resignation should take effect immediately.

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