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VP Sara Duterte steps down as member of Marcos cabinet

Screengrab from the live stream of Vice President Sara Duterte’s press conference on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Courtesy: DepEd Philippines/Facebook)
Charles Dantes

Vice President Sara Duterte has officially stepped down as member of President Marcos’ cabinet on Wednesday, June 19, leaving the Department of Education (DepEd) in a leadership vacuum effective next month.

In a press conference held at her DepEd office, Duterte confirmed she has sought an audience with the President to formally submit her letter of resignation. She did not discuss the reasons behind it.

“Earlier today, June 19, 2024, I sought an audience with the President and tendered my resignation as Secretary of Education effective July 19, 2024. I have given my 30-day notice to ensure the proper and orderly transition for the benefit of the next secretary,” Duterte announced.

The Vice President explained her decision to leave was “not out of weakness,” but driven by her “compassion to the teachers and the Filipino youth.” She said she would continue advocating for quality education even if she is no longer leading the DepEd.

Duterte’s announcement came immediately after Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil disclosed the same information to Malacañang reporters. Garafil said President Marcos has accepted her resignation.

Her departure from the Cabinet also means she has quit as vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). “She (Duterte) declined to give a reason why. She will continue to serve as Vice President. We thank her for her service,” the PCO chief added.

Duterte said she is leaving DepEd with gratitude, especially for the teaching and non-teaching personnel, as well as partners in the private sector, who helped her promote her education agenda over the last two years.

“To our teachers, words can never capture how grateful the nation is for your sacrifices, for your passion, and for your unrelenting commitment to rearing the youth. Thank you for your support and for being strong,” the outgoing DepEd chief stated.

In her letter to the President, Duterte said she has prepared a 30-day transition plan for all the nine strands in the Central Office, as well as for the different Boards and Councils chaired by DepEd and SEAMEO (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization).

“I shall remain of service to the country through the various programs, activities and projects of the Office of the Vice President (OVP). I thank you for the opportunity to have served as member of your Cabinet,” Duterte told Marcos.

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