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Resign and Run

Towards the later part of the past week, we were treated with the surprise of Vice President Sarah Duterte’s resignation as DepEd Secretary and vice chair of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. Then a few hours before this article is being written, she makes the announcement that three Dutertes: her father, former President Rodrigo, her brothers Congressman Paolo and Davao City Mayor Baste will all be running for the senate on 2025. We would have talked about just the resignation but since the news came after the deadline for last issue’s article, and the latest announcement of the whole family ‘s plan for candidacy before this week’s deadline, we’ll lump these phenomena as one unit. The buzzing question has been, “why?”; and the buzzing speculation is “it’s political”. I’m not sure if we could still consider them as speculations. It’s quite certain that announcements for candidacy are political. But, resignation being political is something else.

The resignation announcement came about a week before the running announcement. Was the resignation announcement a dramatic precursor for the running announcement? It seems to look that way. On hindsight, it seems that the resignation was a clarification of declaration of affiliation in preparation for moves of political opposition against the administration. (Although, it’s a little too early to analyze on hindsight.)

VP Duterte had to make it clear to the President that she is not with him in being a member of the Cabinet, to make way for his family’s aiming of guns, days before publicizing plans for candidacy for national positions. The VP had to make it clear to the President that they’re not allies to make way for the position of opposition. She drew battle lines for the declaration of war.

Oh, but, why? Did the President provoke the Vice President? Did he threaten the former President? Did he harass the family? Why? Why now? She could have resigned when Sen. Hontiveros grilled her, when request for confidential funds were denied, when former Sen. De Lima was released, when there were reports of the administration’s possible cooperation with the International Criminal Court, when her former President father toyed with the idea of the secession of Mindanao, when they considered the crackdown against Pastor Quibuloy as political harassment. She could have resigned and drawn battle lines back on any of those incidents.

Why only now? Why only now when the government is doubling down on raiding and closing down POGOs, and chasing and deporting mostly Chinese offenders? Now when some alleged ties are being found in POGOs to people in the previous administration? Now when the West Philippine Sea tension is escalating all the more? now when the nation is gathering support from a greater part of the international community in its stance against China? Now when investigations are being intensified against Bamban Mayor Alice Guo and we are made alert that there may be others like her? Now when there is about one month before the opening of the school year when the MATATAG Curriculum would be implemented? Now when there is about one year before the midterm elections? Why only now? Don’t you find the timing very interesting? Don’t tell me that VP wants to tell us that she’s not down with the administration. We have already known that a long time ago. The former President is running for senator. Come on. Former President Arroyo even became House Speaker and former President Erap was elected as Manila Mayor. But, the tree of them, That’s one step more than the Cayetanos, Ejercitos, Marcoses and other kinsmen that I could be forgetting.

Maybe, it’s just a coincidence that PAOC has raided and closed down a major POGO hub, and they’re looking at pursuing more of them. Maybe, it’s just a coincidence that it’s a month before the opening of classes. Maybe, it’s just a coincidence that the President is standing on a strong message against China. Maybe, it’s all serendipity.

Oh, wait. She did give an explanation. She’s leaving out of “tunay na malasakit”. That sounds like what someone would say to a lover who loves another, when they’re breaking up. “Patuloy na itataguyod”? How does she intend to do that when she’s not anymore in the position? If she really wanted to continue to promote education, would it not have been easier for her to do that, had she not resigned and stayed in the position? It doesn’t make sense.


Proverbs 12:22


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