Fact checks on public officials

FACT CHECK: Sara Duterte is still VP, DepEd secretary


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FACT CHECK: Sara Duterte is still VP, DepEd secretary
Sara Duterte remains a member of the Marcos Cabinet. In a statement on January 29, she said she is committed to serving the public despite working amid 'a pandemonium.'

Claim:  Sara Duterte has resigned from her posts as vice president and Department of Education (DepEd) secretary.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The false video was uploaded on February 5 by the YouTube channel Malacanyang Watch which has 27,200 subscribers. As of writing, the video has 125,270 views, 1,500 likes, and 636 comments. 

The video’s thumbnail showed photos of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., former president Rodrigo Duterte, and the Vice President at the center holding a supposed resignation letter with the text “Nag-resign na? VP Sara ginulat ang lahat!” (Resigned? VP Sara surprised everyone!) 

The video’s title reads: “Kakapasok lang kumpirmado. Grabe ang nangyare kay VP Sara ginulat ang lahat FPRRD PBBM di-makapaniwala.” (Just in. Confirmed! Something happened to VP Sara. She shocked everyone. [Former president Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President Bongbong Marcos] can’t believe it.)

The facts: Duterte has not made any resignation announcement. She remains the current education secretary and the country’s vice president, as seen on the DepEd and Office of the Vice President websites. 

The misleading video did not provide evidence to back up its claim. Instead, it merely presented commentary from SMNI broadcaster Mike Abe discussing calls for Duterte to resign from the Cabinet following her family’s recent tirades against Marcos. The original video was uploaded on February 2 on Abe’s YouTube channel, Mike Abe Opinions.

In a statement on January 29, Durterte said that she would not be deterred by the “attacks, black propaganda, and smear campaign” against her because she was trusted and elected by millions of Filipinos.

“I will stay true to my work at the Department of Education unless the President says otherwise,” she added.

Marcos-Duterte clash: Calls for the Vice President to resign from the Cabinet came following her family’s criticism of the President during two events in Davao City on January 28, amid an ongoing rift between the Marcos and Duterte camps.

During the Hakbang ng Maisug Leaders Forum, the Vice President’s brother, Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, called on Marcos to resign if he did not have “love and aspirations for the country,” adding that Marcos “had not done anything to fix things” under his administration. 

Meanwhile, at a prayer rally against charter change, former president Duterte accused Marcos of being a “drug addict” whose name was on the list of drug personalities of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). Marcos, according to PDEA, “is not and was never” on its watch list.

Marcos hit back on January 29, blaming the older Duterte’s behavior on his use of fentanyl

Sara stays in Marcos Cabinet:  Despite the tirades against him by his predecessor, Marcos told reporters on January 30 that his relationship with the Vice President “has not changed.” He added that he will keep her in the Cabinet as the secretary of DepEd. (READ: As Marcos-Duterte clans clash, should Sara resign from the Cabinet?)

Just over a week after the verbal clashes between Marcos and the Dutertes took place, the Vice President was present when Marcos visited her hometown. The men of the Duterte family, however, were noticeably absent.

Duterte continues to fulfill her duties as vice president. Recently, her office handed relief goods to fire victims in Poro, La Union and Sta. Cruz, Manila. On February 8, she took to social media to thank Filipinos after obtaining a trust rating of 77% and an approval score of 75% in the latest OCTA research survey. – Larry Chavez/Rappler.com

Larry Chavez is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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