More than meets the eye?

Inday Sara is very plain-spoken. She means what she says. She has too much work to do and cannot be involved in any of this.

Questions are now being asked on the possible connection between the demotion of the former president, now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the resignation of Vice President Sara Duterte from the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats following speculations of a brewing House leadership shake-up.

While President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. downplayed Arroyo’s reported demotion and Duterte’s resignation, skeptics are one in saying that there’s more than meets the eye in the recent turn of events.

The President defended Duterte’s decision to resign, saying the Vice President must focus on her responsibilities as the education secretary and co-vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

“Inday Sara is very plain-spoken. She means what she says. She has too much work to do and cannot be involved in any of this. She cannot allow herself to be distracted. That’s the way I read it,” the President said.

Duterte, chairperson of LAKAS-CMD, did not provide any reason for quitting the political party that towed her and Marcos to the top two posts in the land in last year’s elections.

“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.

“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 added.

She said the trust of the Filipino people in her to lead and serve them and the country cannot be poisoned by political toxicity or undermined by execrable political powerplay.

“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 powerplay,” Duterte said, fueling speculations that something was amiss in the House leadership.

She added: “I call on all leaders to focus on the work that must be done and leave a legacy of a strong and stable homeland.”

In a separate statement Lakas-CMD secretary general Jose “Joboy” Aquino II said they respect the Vice President’s decision to leave the political party.

Aquino said they also support Duterte’s call for all political leaders to unite in support of President Marcos.

“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,” the Agusan del Norte lawmaker added.

Principled politics

The sudden removal of Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as senior deputy speaker, the second-highest position at the House of Representatives, by a fellow Pampanga lawmaker was, for Arroyo, “the prerogative of the House.”

We were supposed to anchor in one spirit one nation under our Unity Team.

News of Duterte’s decision to exit from LAKAS-CMD surprised a lot of her loyal supporters.

Former Davao City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, convenor of the BBMSARA ALL parallel groups, said they remain solid behind Sara, saying they know fully well that the vice president will do anything for the greatest good of the majority.

“She never fails her countrymen and is committed to supporting the Marcos administration. Truly, you are a rare breed in public service our dear VP, keep going po!” the group said.

Marcos Jr. earlier refrained from commenting on the alleged plot to oust House Speaker Martin Romualdez, his cousin who serves as the party’s president.

Lakas-CMD, meanwhile, said they remain supportive of President Marcos Jr. and Romualdez, according to Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.

“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. Through the darkest of storms and greatest of tribulations, we have proven time and again that our unity will never be torn down,” he said.

Arroyo, who is now one of the eight deputy Speakers, is the President emeritus of Lakas-CMD.

“This party is strengthened and bound by companionship and understanding shaped and forged by time. Tested but not destroyed, instead, it got stronger and stronger),” Revilla said.

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