Why Sara Duterte was absent at the 64th Palarong Pambansa opening

Vice President Sara Duterte was a no-show during the July 9 opening ceremony of this year’s Palarong Pambansa because she opted to visit student-athletes who were hospitalized for various illnesses.

VPSD_CCMC.jpgVice President Sara Duterte visits student-athletes who are confined at the Cebu City Medical Center. (Photo from Inday Sara Duterte/ Facebook)


In a Facebook post on Wednesday, July 10, the official said that the student-athletes, coaches, and trainers, who came from different regions, were at the Cebu City Medical Center.

“Marami sa kanila ang nanghihinayang na hindi sila makadalo sa Opening Ceremony kaya minabuti natin na bisitahin at dalhin sa kanila ang diwa ng Palarong Pambansa (Many of them regret not being able to attend the Opening Ceremony so we opted to visit and bring the spirit of the Palarong Pambansa),” she wrote.

“Isa sa pakay ng ating pagbisita ay upang bigyan ng moral na suporta ang mga kalahok at hindi sila panghihinaan ng loob (One of the intentions of our visit is to give moral support to the participants and for them not to lose hope),” she added.

The Vice President, who is still Department of Education (DepEd) secretary until July 19, assured that the Palarong Pambansa committee was fully prepared to provide immediate medical assistance to the athletes, coaches, teachers, and all personnel.

According to the Office of the Vice President (OVP), around 50 were hospitalized, some of them testing positive to dengue.

Duterte’s non-attendance to the multi-sport event, where student-athletes from all over the Philippines compete, meant she was not able to share the stage with President Marcos.

Last June 19, the Vice President personally tendered her resignation, which the President accepted. The resignation will take effect on July 19, with Senator Sonny Angara replacing her as DepEd chief.

Duterte’s attendance to the grand opening ceremony of the sports meet was supposed to be one of her final appearances as Education secretary.

Prior to this event, Duterte attended the Learners’ Convergence Opening in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu.