Philippines’ Marcos Jnr intervenes in feud between first lady, Vice-President Duterte: ‘she still has a lot to learn’

The vice-president responded by saying the first lady’s personal feelings have nothing to do with her mandate as a government official and the administration should focus on tackling pressing issues like inflation and crime.

Marcos Jnr said on Tuesday the saga would not affect his professional relationship with Sara Duterte and his wife “cannot be blamed” for getting upset about attempts to malign him.

“I think that she (Sara), as a wife, understands how the first lady feels, when you have to sit there and listen to these attacks that are being made against your husband,” the president told reporters.

Philippine Vice-President Sara Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr attending an event in Manila on January 25. Photo: Kyodo

He added he would hold talks with Sara Duterte to iron out their differences, saying Liza Marcos “shouldn’t take it to heart” as it wasn’t the vice-president who uttered those words.

Marcos Jnr said that, unlike politicians who were “numb to insults”, his wife was inexperienced in politics and that could have triggered her outburst.

“She didn’t come from a political family, so maybe she still has a lot to learn in letting hurtful, heated words pass,” he said.

While Marcos Jnr said his wife does not have a political background, her mother’s youngest sister was married to the eldest brother of former president Corazon Aquino.

Marcos Jnr also ruled out dropping Sara Duterte as education secretary.

“If you can no longer perform your tasks, just tell me, we will replace you. If you are incompetent or corrupt, we will remove you. Inday is not like that,” he said, referring to the vice-president by her nickname.

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What’s behind the apparent feud between the Marcos, Duterte clans in the Philippines?

What’s behind the apparent feud between the Marcos, Duterte clans in the Philippines?

Some lawmakers have pushed for Sara Duterte’s resignation, citing her lack of experience in overseeing the education department and her family’s tirade against the president, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Legislator Joel Chua said allowing Sara Duterte to helm the portfolio was “detrimental to education as a matter of accountability, character, integrity and competence”.

France Castro of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers party said the education department needed a fresh face whose “decisions actually better the sector”.

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