President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte (File photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday said he understands Vice President Sara Duterte's decision to resign as a member of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party, noting that the latter cannot be distracted from her more important duties.

Marcos said Duterte is focusing on fulfilling her responsibilities as chief of the Department of Education (DeEd) and co-vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“Si Inday Sara is very plain-spoken. Kung ano ang sinabi niya 'yun ang ibig sabihin niya (She meant whatever she said). She has too much work to do that she cannot be involved in any of this. She cannot allow herself to be distracted. That’s the way I read it,” Marcos said in a press briefing during the inauguration of the 160-megawatt wind farm in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

 “It’s true because kung titignan mo kung ano yung mga hinaharap niya talagang marami talaga at hindi nya pwede (if you look at it, she has a lot on her plate and cannot really) to be involved in whatever it is that is going on… She has to concentrate on her job as Secretary for the DepEd and now NTF-ELCAC. Maraming duty. Marami talaga sya gagawin. So, I can understand why. Sasabihin niya, ‘Ayusin muna ninyo yan. Gagawin ko muna itong mga importanteng kailangan kong tapusin’ (She has really a lot of work to do. I can understand why. She would say, 'You need to fix that first. I would finish more important tasks'),” he added.

Duterte announced her irrevocable resignation as Lakas-CMD member on Friday.

"This is to announce my irrevocable resignation as a Lakas-CMD member effective today. I am grateful to all the party members for the support that also once demonstrated that unity is possible to advance our shared dreams for our fellow Filipinos and our beloved country," she said in a Facebook post.

Duterte served as the chairperson of the party, alongside House Speaker Martin Romualdez as the Lakas-CMD president.

Although she did not give a specific reason for her resignation, the country's second-highest official said she does not want her service to be affected by "political power play."

"I am here today because of the trust of the Filipino people in me to lead and serve them and the country, and this cannot be poisoned by political toxicity or undermined by execrable political power play," Duterte said.

Despite the move, she said, she remains committed to serving the Filipino people.

"Nothing is more important to me than being able to meaningfully serve our fellow Filipinos and the Philippines, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leading the way. Trust that my word, my commitment will be immutable," she said.

Marcos and Duterte were running mates in the May 2022 elections. (PNA)