Bacolod: Mayor Benitez calls on VP Sara to consider stepping down from DepEd

photo courtesy of The Visayan Daily Star

Bacolod City – League of Cities of the Philippines national chairman, Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez over-the-weekend called on Vice President Sara Duterte to consider stepping down from her Cabinet post.

The call of Benitez came after him and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas issued a joint statement, expressing their empathy with First Lady Liza Marcos, who expressed disappointment with Duterte.

The First Lady expressed disappointment that VP Sara attended rallies where President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is being criticized, according to Benitez and Treñas.

“It seems inappropriate for a Vice President, who campaigned under the same party as the President, to participate in such events and react with amusement to the attacks,” Benitez and Treñas stressed in a joint statement.

Moreover, as the Secretary of Education, she is a key member of the President’s cabinet. A certain level of solidarity is expected. There are unspoken rules and lines that should not be crossed, further said the two mayors of highly urbanized cities in Western Visayas.

Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte won the 2019 elections, under the “UniTeam” banner.
In light of recent events, it is crucial for all cabinet members to uphold the utmost support and unity, Benitez said, noting that Duterte’s presence at events where the leadership is criticized has raised concerns.

Adhering to the principle of delicadeza, it may be wise for her to consider stepping down, to preserve the integrity and unity of the administration, the Bacolod City mayor added, apparently referring to her Cabinet position.

In an interview with broadcaster Anthony Taberna, which was posted in Facebook, the First Lady admitted that she felt hurt when VP Sara was reportedly seen laughing as former President Rodrigo Duterte called President Marcos Jr. “bangag,” alluding to being high on drugs, during a rally in Davao City in January.

“You ran together, di ba? Sama-sama tayo babangon muli. Pupunta ka sa rally, tatawagin yung presidente mong bangag, ‘di ba (We will rise together again. You go to a rally, your president is called a drug addict), you’re going to laugh. Tama ba yan (is that right)? Even (former vice president) Leni (Robredo) never did that,” she stressed.

When asked for comment, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said “I think as a loving wife, that’s a normal reaction, but again that is very personal, so I wish not to comment further.”

In the video, Araneta-Marcos said it was not appropriate for the younger Duterte to laugh at her father’s remarks against her husband. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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