Sara Duterte resigns as Secretary of Education and NTF-ELCAC Vice Chairperson

On June 19, 2024, Sara Duterte unexpectedly announced her resignation as Secretary of Education and Vice Chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) at a press conference. “My resignation is not from a place of weakness, but is brought about by my genuine concern for teachers and the Filipino youth,” said Duterte. Duterte did not give any specific reasons for her decision. In September 2023, the House of Representatives rejected Duterte’s controversial request for confidential funds for the Department of Education amounting to 150 million pesos.

According to political analyst Ronald Llamas, Vice President Sara Duterte could no longer stay in the cabinet due to the growing distance between the Duterte family and President Marcos Jr. Llamas argued that Duterte had not taken a stand against Marcos Jr. in response to her brother’s call for Marcos Jr.’s resignation and emphasized the contradiction in her political positioning: although she took part in anti-Marcos rallies, she was also a member of his government. Duterte himself admitted that the electoral alliance with Marcos was merely a campaign strategy and not a genuine alliance. Her resignation was a strategic move to consolidate her political base, especially in light of the investigations by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

On June 23, 2024, Duterte stated in an interview with GMA News that she does not intend to step down as Vice President. President Marcos Jr. has not yet appointed a successor for the post. Marcos Jr. also admitted that he is having difficulty finding a suitable successor. In light of Duterte’s resignation from the presidential cabinet, there was already speculation among her supporters that she could take on a leadership role in the opposition.

A few days later after Duterte’s resignation, she announced that both her father Rodrigo Duterte and her two brothers would be running in the upcoming senatorial elections. During a press conference in Tacloban City on June 2, 2024, former President Rodrigo Duterte advised his daughter not to run for president and said she should leave the office to those who are “ambitious.”


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