Philippines vice president resigns from ruling party, citing ‘political toxicity’ – diplomat

Philippine vice president resigns from ruling party, citing 'political toxicity'

Philippine Vice President and Secretary of Education Sarah Duterte speaks to students at Kapalayan Elementary School in Surigao City, Philippines, May 12, 2023.

credit: Facebook/Inday Sarah Duterte

Philippine Vice President Sara Duterte on Friday announced her “irrevocable resignation” from the country’s ruling party, citing “political toxicity”, sparking intrigue surrounding the country’s ruling party after a minor upset in Congress last week. increased further. The announcement was made in a statement released on Friday, in which the vice president, daughter of former president Rodrigo Duterte, said he was leaving the Lacas CMD party “effective today.”

“I am here today because of the trust of the Filipino people to lead and serve them and their country, and this cannot be poisoned by political toxicity or undermined by a terrible political power struggle. Impossible,” Duterte said in a statement without elaborating. report.

Duterte thanked party members for their support, but said politics would not get in the way of his work. “For me, nothing is more important than being able to spearhead President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and meaningfully serve his fellow Filipinos and the Philippines,” she wrote. “Take my word for it. My resolve is unchanging.”

Duterte’s comments hint at instability within the Lakas CMD party, which holds the largest number of seats (71 out of 316) in the split Philippine parliament. midterm elections In May 2025.

The references to “political toxicity” and political power struggles apparently come to an event in the House last week when House leadership demoted former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a gray figure in the Lacus CMD, from an honorary position. seems to mention Give one of the House’s nine Vice-Presidents the post of Senior Vice-President.House Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe the relegated said Despite the fact that the title of “Senior” has no additional obligations, he tried to relieve Arroyo of the “burden” that came with it.

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Her dismissal was accompanied by rumors that she was planning to deprive her leader, Speaker of the House Martin Romualdez, of the post of head of parliament, which she later took up. forced into denial. Romualdez, cousin of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is chairman of Lacas CMD.

Duterte and Arroyo are two of the most influential women in Philippine politics. known to be close alliesAnd Duterte’s resignation statement appeared to echo the language Arroyo used when he condemned “unnecessary political acts” in a May 18 statement announcing the demotion.

Friction between Lacus and CMD is unlikely to have immediate political repercussions. In the Philippine presidential system, political parties are weakly institutionalized and often serve as electoral vehicles for specific political figures. Alliances are slippery and in constant flux.

Duterte does not have deep roots in Lacus-CMD.only her attended the party In November 2021, shortly after resigning from the regional party he founded in Mindanao in 2018 and running for vice president alongside Marcos.

Marcos himself belongs to another party he founded before the presidential campaign, the Partido Federation ng Pilipinas (PFP), which currently holds only one seat in the House of Representatives. (The party was barely mentioned in media coverage of last year’s campaign.) The PFP, in conjunction with Rakas-CMD and two other political parties, formed a Uni-Team alliance ahead of the election.

Given the fluidity of intra-party coalitions, the impact on Marcos’ near-term political fortunes is likely to be contained. Duterte will retain his vice president and education secretary posts, and Marcos will likely remain insulated from infighting. high approval rating He and Duterte are currently having fun.

Yesterday, the Philippine leader said in an interview in his home state of Ilocos del Norte that he understood Duterte’s decision to step down from Lacas CMD, suggesting she may have been overwhelmed by work pressures. . “You know Indei Sara is very outspoken,” he said. According to the Philippine Star. “I really mean what she says. She has too much work for her to do and nothing to distract her. I read it that way.” is.”

But as the country heads toward midterm elections, worsening political infighting within the ruling party could hamper political survival, with a remarkably successful Uni-Team coalition able to contest a second presidential election in 2028. There are questions about whether it will survive.

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