MANILA, Philippines – The past few weeks have been a season of breakups not just in show business but in the political arena as well. The biggest tandem to show signs of a strained relationship is that of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte.
Called the “Uniteam,” the alliance was created to support the candidacies of Marcos for president and Duterte for his vice president in the 2022 elections. Now, the union, not even halfway into their term, has started to show noticeable cracks.
The rift became noticeable when former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whom Duterte considers her mentor, was demoted in May from senior deputy speaker, the second-highest position in the House, to deputy speaker amid speculations she was plotting a coup against Speaker Martin Romualdez, the President’s first cousin.
In support of Arroyo, the Vice President resigned from Lakas-CMD, Romualdez’s party. Six months later, Arroyo, who was instrumental in bringing the Uniteam together, was stripped of even the deputy speakership. (READ: From GMA to Sara Duterte: The ties that bind)
Wider cracks emerged when Congress rejected Duterte’s request for a total of P650 million in confidential funds for the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd). This time, her father, former president Rodrigo Duterte, was already fighting her battle, making innuendos about the legislature.
Talks of impeaching the Vice President were revived, while Sara Duterte for the first time openly opposed Marcos’ policy, calling his decision to reopen peace negotiations with the Left “an agreement with the devil.”
In this latest episode of Newsbreak Chats, Rappler managing editor Miriam Grace Go speaks with multimedia reporters Bonz Magsambol and Kaycee Valmonte on how this evident animosity between the Marcos and Duterte camps is shaping the dynamics in Congress, and, not too far off, the realignments in the 2025 mid-term elections.
Is Sara Duterte betraying her rawness in national politics away from the shadow of her father? Is the Marcos camp laying its cards too early against a potential frontrunner in the 2028 presidential polls? Are they miscalculating their attacks against each other?
Watch Newsbreak Chats on Thursday, December 7, at 4 pm. – Rappler.com