It may be wise for Sara to step down as education secretary, Benitez says

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos during the  2022 MassKara Festival.*Ronnie Baldonado photo

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said on Friday, April 19, that adhering to the principle of delicadeza, it may be wise for Vice President Sara Duterte  to consider stepping down as secretary  of education “to preserve the integrity and unity of the administration”. 

“In light of recent events, it is crucial for all Cabinet members to uphold the utmost support and unity. Secretary Sara’s presence at events where the leadership is criticized has raised concerns,” Benitez, who is a close ally of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., said.

Benitez was reacting  to the statement of  First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos that she felt hurt when Vice President Sara Duterte was reportedly seen laughing as former President Rodrigo Duterte called President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a drug addict on stage during a rally in Davao City in January. 

Benitez and  Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas  on Friday also issued a joint statement in support of Mrs. Marcos. 

“We empathize with the First Lady as she expresses her disappointment that the Vice President attends rallies where the President is criticized. It seems inappropriate for a Vice President, who campaigned under the same party banner as the President, to participate in such events and react with amusement to the attacks”, they said in their joint statement. 

“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,“ they said. 

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said as a loving wife the reaction of the First Lady was normal.* 

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