Paolo defends Sara, but gets criticized over their silence on WPS issue

Mar. 29, 2024
Photo from Inday Sara Duterte Facebook page

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davao City Congressman Paolo Duterte’s defense of her sister, Vice President Sara Duterte, for her silence on the recent tensions in the West Philippine Sea drew more criticisms instead.

The congressman released a statement yesterday March 27, chiding Akbayan Party-list over their statement this week criticizing the vice president who has not made any statements on China’s aggression on Philippine vessels in WPS.

“It is not the job of the Vice President or the Secretary of the Department of Education to demonize China or any country for that matter,” Paolo said.

Chinese coast guards blasted a Philippine resupply vessel with water cannons on Ayungin Shoal last Saturday, March 23, injuring Filipino navy personnel. This prompted the Philippine government to lodge a protest and summoned Beijing’s charge d’affairs in Manila.

Paolo tried to liken the criticism against his sister Sara to her martyrdom for the Holy Week, saying “We pause and pray this holy week and reflect on the savior Jesus Christ as he is nailed to the cross, we shall also reflect on why you nail everything to the Vice President.”

But Cong. Duterte’s statement got a clapback from fellow Congressman Raoul Manuel of Kabataan Party-list:

“Hindi naman trabaho ng sitting VP na protektahan ang indicted child sex trafficker na si Apollo Quiboloy, pero may video statement siya sa isyung ito. Ang soberanya ng Pilipinas, bakit di niya maprotektahan? (It’s not the job of the VP to protect an indicted child sex trafficker Apollo Quiboloy, but she even made a video statement for him. What about Philippine sovereignty, can’t she defend it?)” Manuel posted this on his X/Twitter account.

Manuel’s statement echoes Akbayan’s statement which Paolo Duterte took issue of. Last Monday, the group questioned why VP Duterte has been consistently silent on the West Philippine Sea tensions.

“It’s bewildering how Vice President Duterte can find the time and energy to defend a disgraced figure like Quiboloy, yet remains eerily silent when our own countrymen and women are under attack by a foreign aggressor. Is her allegiance to justice selective, or does she simply lack the courage to stand up to China? Either way, it is despicable,” said Akbayan President Rafaela David.

Several netizens also supported David and Manuel’s position on the social media platforms of various national news websites.

Netizens point out that VP Sara Duterte has made statements in various issues in recent months: including condemnation of the ambush of a doctor in Maguindanao, the killing of a law passer turned NPA, and defending SMNI hosts and perennial red-taggers Jeffrey Celiz and Lorraine Badoy.

The mandate of the Vice President has been set on the Office of the Vice President’s website:

“As the second highest office in the land committed to the service of the nation and supportive of the President’s priority agenda, the Office of the Vice President performs executive, ceremonial, and social services functions, collaborating with stakeholders and organizations in both the public and private sectors, to develop and promote programs that uplift the lives of the Filipino people.”

The Marcos administration has asserted Philippine sovereignty over WPS, unlike former President Duterte’s “soft” position on his matter, which many believe is stemmed from his ties to China for his Build, Build, Build projects.

The Dutertes once wielded influence on social media during the presidency of their father Rodrigo Duterte. But now opposition and criticisms are rising as the Dutertes are swarmed with issues of siphoning billions in government funds and facing the probe of the International Criminal Court for the war on drugs campaign. (

, ,
comments powered by Disqus