ANN/THE PHILIPPINE INQUIRER – Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte has resigned from Lakas–Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), where she served as chairperson.
Duterte on Friday announced the resignation but did not categorically give a reason for her leaving the political party.
She, however, mentioned that her leadership “cannot be poisoned by political toxicity” or “undermined by political power play”.
“I am grateful to all the party members for the support that also once demonstrated that unity is possible to advance our shared dreams for our fellow Filipinos and our beloved country,” she said in a statement.
“I am here today because of the trust of the Filipino people in me to lead and serve them and the country, and this cannot be poisoned by political toxicity or undermined by execrable political powerplay,” she added.
The Vice President assured the public that her commitment to serve the country – with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr leading the way – “will be immutable”.
She further called on the party’s leaders to “focus on the work that must be done and leave a legacy of a strong and stable homeland”.
Duterte joined Lakas-CMD when she sought the second highest government post in 2022. Her resignation from the party came after its chairman emeritus former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is now a congresswoman, was demoted from senior deputy speaker to deputy speaker in the House of Representatives.
Arroyo, whom the President described as his “secret weapon”, was replaced by a Cabalen, Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr.
According to House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, the move was to “unburden” Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Arroyo of the “heavy load of the position”.
Following Arroyo’s replacement, a number of House leaders released statements declaring their loyalty and support to Speaker Martin Romualdez and to his cousin President Marcos Jr.
This further fanned speculations of a rift in the administration and another ouster plot being hatched in the House.
For her part, Arroyo, a known close ally of the Vice President, denied speculations of her plotting a coup, saying her actions may have been “misconstrued”.
In 2018, Arroyo became the Speaker of the House of Representatives replacing Pantaleon Alvarez, who was ousted in an alleged coup in which Vice President Duterte, who was then Davao City mayor, reportedly played a key role.