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Designated survivor 

  • Vice President Sara Duterte will not attend SONA


VICE PRESIDENT Sara Duterte intends to skip President Ferdinand Marcos’ third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, marking the first time she would be absent from her 2022 running-mate’s annual report to the people.

In a media interview at the Brokenshire Medical Center-CANDEV inauguration on Thursday, Duterte said, “No. I will not attend the SONA. I’m appointing myself as the designated survivor.” 

In politics, the designated survivor means someone who is in the line of succession but needs to distance themselves from a gathering to ensure they can step in during catastrophic events. The designated survivor will prevent a vacuum in leadership.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the vice president is next in the line of succession in case the president dies or becomes incapacitated. The vice president will be followed by the Senate president and the House speaker. 

This move fuels speculation of a growing rift within the Uniteam tandem that propelled the Marcos administration. The Dutertes believe they are being persecuted by the present government.

Her pronouncement effectively made her the fourth vice president who would be absent from the SONA after Leni Robredo, Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Jejomar Binay.

Duterte will officially leave the President’s Cabinet on July 19, stepping down as the education secretary. 



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