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Philippine VP resigns as education minister as Marcos alliance crumbles

By Thomson Reuters Jun 19, 2024 | 3:07 AM

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine Vice-President Sara Duterte resigned on Wednesday from her posts as education minister and vice-chair of an anti-insurgency task force, in the latest sign that her alliance with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has crumbled.

Marcos had accepted Duterte’s resignation and thanked her for her service, Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement, adding that the vice president did not provide a reason.

In a separate press conference, Duterte said her “resignation is not because of weakness but because of true concern for teachers and the youth.”

The Marcos and Duterte families joined forces in 2022 with Sara Duterte standing as Marcos’ vice-presidential running mate, allowing Marcos to tap the Duterte family’s huge support base and seal a comeback for the disgraced Marcos dynasty.

In the Philippines, the president and vice president are elected separately.

That alliance was always expected to collapse, but analystswere surprised by how soon the gloves have come off after Marcos’ predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, accused the president in January of using drugs. Duterte’s son, who is currently the mayor of Davao city, had also called for the resignation of Marcos at the time.

“It is the break we have all been waiting for,” Jean Encinas-Franco, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, said of the vice president’s decision to step down from her cabinet post.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Mikhail Flores; Editing by Ed Davies)