Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Marcos downplays Liza-Sara rift, shrugs off calls to sack DepEd chief

Dwight de Leon

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Marcos downplays Liza-Sara rift, shrugs off calls to sack DepEd chief

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is sworn in as the 17th President of the Philippines, at the National Museum of Fine Arts on June 30, 2022. Alecs Ongcal/Rappler


'Any of the Cabinet secretaries will be replaced kapag hindi nila ginagawa ang trabaho nila.... Hindi naman ganoon si Inday,' President Marcos says of Vice President Sara Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday, April 23, appeared to douse the fire caused by First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos’ revelation that she is not on good terms with Vice President Sara Duterte.

In an ambush interview in Occidental Mindoro on Tuesday, Marcos also brushed aside suggestions to remove Duterte, the Department of Education (DepEd) secretary, from his Cabinet.

“Any of the Cabinet secretaries will be replaced kapag hindi nila ginagawa ang trabaho nila. All the other things are not part of the discussion. Kapag hindi na kaya, nagkasakit, sabihin mo lang, papalitan ka namin. Kapag hindi talaga marunong o korap, tatanggalin ka talaga namin. Hindi naman ganoon si Inday,” he said.

(Any of the Cabinet secretaries will be replaced if they don’t do their job. All the other things are not part of the discussion. If they are sick or can’t take it any longer, just say so and we will replace you. If you are incapable or corrupt, we will sack you. Inday Sara isn’t any of those.)

The rare tell-all interview with broadcaster Anthony Taberna on Friday, April 19 saw the President’s wife lambast Sara for supposedly laughing when his father – former president Rodrigo Duterte – accused Marcos of being “bangag” or under the influence during a rally against charter change in Davao City in January.

It is unclear if Sara indeed laughed at the joke, as video feeds of the event didn’t cut to her reaction during the controversial moment, but she came out with a video statement on Monday, April 23, saying that the First Lady’s “personal feelings have nothing to do with my mandate as a government official.”

Marcos downplays Liza-Sara rift, shrugs off calls to sack DepEd chief

Marcos claimed there is no need to patch things up, believing that the country’s second-in-command understands where his wife is coming from.

“I think that she also understands how the First Lady feels, when you have to sit there and listen to these attacks that are being made against your husband,” Marcos said.

But mag-uusap kami ni VP Sara tungkol diyan. Huwag niya masyadong dibdibin, hindi naman siya ang mga nagsabi tungkol sa kung anu-ano. Madali naman sigurong plantsahin lahat ng naging isyu,” he added.

(VP Sara and I will talk about that. She shouldn’t let it get to her, since she was not the one who said bad stuff about me. All these issues can easily be ironed out.)

Marcos also said he is a lucky husband for having a protective wife who always comes to his defense, but offered an explanation on why Liza reacted that way.

Ang First Lady, hindi sanay sa pulitika ‘yan e. Kami, manhid na kami diyan, sa insulto. Siya, hindi siya galing sa political family, kaya siguro she still has to learn, magpalagpas nang kaunti ng ibang masasakit at maaanghang na salita,” he added.

(The First Lady is not used to politics. We have been numb to insults, while she still has to learn to ignore the hurtful accusations because she did not come from a political family.)

The Marcoses and the Dutertes – two major political families in the Philippines – teamed up in the 2022 elections, a partnership that resulted in a landslide election victory both for the dictator’s son and the outgoing president’s daughter.

It was, according to analysts, a “marriage of convenience” that has been difficult to maintain.

The Vice President has a feud with the President’s cousin, Speaker Martin Romualdez. The House of Representatives under Romualdez denied Vice President’s confidential funds in the 2024 budget.

The President also once said his government was studying the possibility of rejoining the International Criminal Court, which is investigating Mr. Duterte’s bloody drug war. He had also said, however, that his government will not recognize ICC jurisdication over the Phiippine.

In January, the former president accused Marcos of illegal drug use, a claim that the incumbent chief executive laughed off and attributed to Mr. Duterte’s continued fentanyl use. – Rappler.com

1 comment

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  1. ET

    This is a good tactic by President Marcos Jr. He is developing an image of “psychological invincibility” against the tirades of the Duterte political dynasty. This will make the latter complacent until President Marcos Jr. executes his real plan against them. Philippine Presidential theatrics (with PBBM as lead actor) have leveled up.

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.