Marcos says no rift with the vice president

January 31, 2024 - 2:43 PM
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Newly-elected Vice President Sara Duterte poses with newly-elected President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., during the inauguration ceremony at the National Museum in Manila, Philippines, June 30, 2022. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

 Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said there was no rift between him and his Vice President Sara Duterte after both her brother and father strongly criticized him.

On Sunday, Duterte’s brother, who is the mayor of Davao city, urged Marcos to resign over his supposed failings to address crime and a foreign policy that “endangers the lives of innocent Filipinos”, while her father, former president Rodrigo Duterte, called the incumbent president a “drug addict”.

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Speaking to reporters while on a state visit to Vietnam, Marcos said his relationship with the vice president is “exactly the same”, adding his “Uniteam” with Duterte was intact.

Marcos and Duterte ran under the “Uniteam” ticket in the 2022 election, both winning a landslide victory.

“Uniteam is not just one party of two parties or three parties. It’s the unification of all political, hopefully all political forces in the Philippines to come together for the good country,” Marcos said late on Tuesday.

“That is still there. It is still vibrant,” he said.

Duterte, whom Marcos appointed as education secretary, said on Monday her brother’s remarks must have come “from a place of brotherly love”, but said she would “stay true” to her work at the education ministry, despite calls from some politicians for her to leave.

There is no indication so far that the row between Marcos and the Dutertes would escalate, but the economic planning minister on Wednesday cautioned that political instability was not good for business.

—Reporting by Karen Lema; Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; editing by Miral Fahmy