Vice President Sara Duterte on Friday left as a member of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party as she lashed out at an “execrable political power play.”
“This is to announce my irrevocable resignation as a Lakas-CMD member effective today. 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 social media post.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for his part, said he understands Duterte-Carpio’s decision to leave Lakas-CMD.
“You know VP Inday Sara is very plain-spoken. She means what she says. She has too much work to do that she cannot be involved in any – that she cannot allow herself to be distracted. That’s the way I read it,” he said in an interview.
Mr. Marcos said Duterte must have been overwhelmed amid all her obligations to the people as the Vice President, Education Secretary and co-vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-ELCAC.
“It’s true because if look at all her responsibilities, she cannot be involved in whatever it is that is going on. She has to concentrate on her job as Secretary for the DepEd and now NTF-ELCAC,” Mr. Marcos said.
“So, I can understand why she’d say ‘fix this internal issue first on your own and I will do all the important things I need to do on my own,” he added.
Duterte served as the chairperson of the party, alongside Speaker Martin G. Romualdez as the Lakas-CMD president.
She made the announcement after former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was replaced as senior deputy speaker at the House of Representatives.
Duterte did not give a specific reason for her resignation but cited “political toxicity.”
“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 power play,” Duterte said.
She said she remains committed to serving the Filipino people.
“Nothing is more important to me than being able to meaningfully serve our fellow Filipinos and the Philippines, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leading the way. Trust that my word, my commitment will be immutable,” she said.
The Lakas-CMD said it respected Duterte’s decision.
“We thank Vice President Sara Duterte for the services she rendered to our party, the Lakas-CMD, as Party Chair, and for helping us build a Unity Team aimed at bringing meaningful change to Philippine society,” said Lakas-CMD Secretary General and Agusan del Norte Rep. Joboy Aquino.
“As we respect her decision, we understand her reason for leaving the political party,” Aquino added.
Opposition Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay said the political maneuverings at the House of Representatives had something to do with the 2028 presidential elections.
Lagman, Liberal Party president, said “the positioning and contest for the 2028 presidential elections have begun even before the 2025 midterm elections.”
“The stripping of Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of her senior deputy speaker position and the subsequent resignation of Vice President Sara Duterte from the ruling Lakas-CMD party are obviously related,” he added.
“The power play and intramurals in Lakas may result in further resignations by Arroyo and Duterte loyalists,” Lagman said. “These political developments will have repercussions in the revamp of the Marcos Cabinet.”
The Liberal Party, as the principal opposition party, will be keenly watchful of further developments as they unfold, Lagman said.
Speaking of Duterte, Aquino said the Lakas-CMD “also support her call for all political leaders to unite in support of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., and for all of us to work for the success of this administration for the benefit of our people.”
“We continue to believe in our shared vision that only a country united can lift the Filipino people out of poverty and ensure a better future for generations to come,” Aquino said.
Lakas-CMD co-chairman Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. yesterday assured the public that the party will continue to be united.
Ahead of the 2022 national elections, Revilla offered his post as the party’s chairman to then Davao City Mayor Duterte-Carpio.
Revilla noted Lakas-CMD is the country’s dominant political party.
He also said it would continue to support the leadership of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. under the stewardship of their party president, Speaker Romualdez.
“Our decades-long solidarity has witnessed and endured many trials which only strengthened our bond that is founded on our shared passion to serve our nation,” Revilla said.
Former Senate President Vicente Sotto III added that they will remain allied with the President and the leadership of Romualdez.