Cagayan de Oro City

Sara Duterte downplays opposition role, thinks she’s still friends with Marcos

Franck Dick Rosete

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Sara Duterte downplays opposition role, thinks she’s still friends with Marcos

INTERVIEW. Vice President Sara Duterte speaks to reporters at the Pride Reception in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday, June 25., 2024.

Franck Dick Rosete/Rappler

Vice President Sara Duterte says she is not yet discussing politics, and her priority is the smooth transition in the Department of Education

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Vice President Sara Duterte said on Tuesday, June 25, that she was focusing on ensuring a smooth transition in the Department of Education (DepEd) following her resignation and has not seriously considered becoming an opposition leader yet.

Duterte also told reporters in Cagayan de Oro who asked about the status of her relationship with the President, “Sa tingin ko magkaibigan pa rin kami ni President Bongbong Marcos (I think President Bongbong Marcos and I are still friends).”

The Vice President tendered her resignation as education secretary and vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on June 19. Her resignation takes effect on July 19.

“I am not discussing politics right now. Our priority is to identify the new secretary of the Department of Education,” Duterte said during her visit to Cagayan de Oro for the Office of the Vice President’s Pride Reception.

Sara Duterte in Cagayan de Oro
PRIDE RECEPTION. Vice President Sara Duterte speaks at the annual Pride Reception in Cagayan de Oro City on Monday, June 25, 2024, hosted by her office. Franck Dick Rosete/Rappler

She said she still has no idea who will be appointed as her successor in DepEd. “Let’s focus on that before we discuss other things,” she said.

Duterte’s remarks were in response to former presidential spokesman Harry Roque’s suggestion on June 21 that she could become the “ultimate leader of the opposition” after leaving the Cabinet, signaling a break from the Marcos Jr. administration. 

Roque, a close ally of the Duterte family, lauded her for what he saw as a principled stance, and cited her high satisfaction ratings, which puts her in a position to be the new face of the opposition.

In late 2022, Duterte was the only top official to receive an “excellent” net satisfaction rating based on the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results, which slightly dipped to a “very good” rating by the end of 2023.

Speaker Martin Romualdez said he wouldn’t recognize Duterte as an opposition leader until she declares it herself. 

Meanwhile, the Liberal Party asserted its role as the “genuine opposition” but added that Duterte could lead a “partisan opposition” to the Marcos Jr. administration.

Duterte was in Cagayan de Oro for the annual OVP Pride Reception, where she handed out P15,000 cash grants to 20 Kagay-anon LGBTQIA+ members and entrepreneurs to support their microenterprises. –

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