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PBBM: No reason to fire VP

“It will not affect our working relationship with the Vice President, Secretary of Education,” he said.

Mr. Marcos added he would only remove alter-egos who are not doing their job as Cabinet officials, and he would not be swayed by personal conflict to fire someone.

“When you can’t handle it anymore, (if you) get sick (of it), just tell us, we’ll replace you. If you really don’t know or you’re corrupt, we’ll definitely remove you. Inday is not like that,” he said.

Mr. Marcos, however, expressed appreciation for his wife for protecting him against critics of his administration.

“First of all, I feel so lucky to have a wife who is very protective of me. If she hears something bad said about me, she gets really upset. We cannot blame her for that,” the President said.

“The First Lady is not used to politics. We in politics are already numb to insults. But she is not from a political family and she still has to learn to bear a bit hurtful and incendiary words,” Mr. Marcos added.

Mrs. Marcos earlier did not mince words in expressing her disappointment at the Vice President, saying the latter crossed the line for laughing at insinuations that the President is a drug user.

“Bad shot na yan sa akin (She’s a bad shot to me),” Mrs. Marcos said in an interview.

“I was hurt because my husband will do everything to protect you… You ran together right?” she said.

“But you will go to a rally where they called your President a drug user, right? You’re going to laugh – is that the proper thing to do? Even Leni (Robredo) never did that,” Mrs. Marcos added.

Earlier, Sara’s father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, accused Mr. Marcos of using illegal drugs in a rally in their hometown Davao City, while her brother, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, called on the President to resign.

But Mr. Marcos said this was not something that cannot be resolved by open communication.

“VP Sara and I will talk about that. She shouldn’t take it too personally. She’s not the one who said all those things. It should be easy to iron everything out,” Marcos said.

Duterte earlier said the First Lady’s “personal feelings” were irrelevant to her mandate.

“As a person, First Lady Liza Marcos has the right to feel upset and angry. But her personal feelings have nothing to do with my mandate as a government official,” Duterte said.

In February, the Vice President said all is well between her and President Marcos, but declined to comment on the status of her ties with the First Lady.

“We have no problem with each other. President Bongbong Marcos and I are doing good. We are okay in terms of our relationship,” she told reporters during her official visit to Kuala Lumpur in February.

As for her relationship with the First Lady, Duterte said then: “I have no comment as of this time.”

Mrs. Marcos appeared to have given Duterte the cold shoulder during the departure honors for the President for his state visit to Vietnam in late January. The moment was captured on video and the clip went viral online. — Charles Dantes

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