TREATS SPEAKER ALVAREZ AS A JOKE
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
After the dust of the political battle in the 2019 mid-term elections would have settled down, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will return to Tagum City to launch her bid to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“I would launch here my bid for the speakership,” Mayor Sara told a large crowd gathered at the Davao del Norte Sports Center.
Mayor Sara earlier said that she may take a crack at a House seat for Davao City’s First District in the 2019 polls.
Mayor Sara made the statement in her speech in the capital city of Davao del Norte on Thursday, April 26, at an event for Tapang At Malasakit which she formed in support of the administration of her father, President Rodrigo Duterte.
Her plan to be the next House Speaker stirred up the crowd of about 2,000 people apparently aware of her recent tiff with House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the Davao del Norte First District representative.
Top officials who joined the gathering were Davao del Norte Gov. Antonio Rafael del Rosario with his father former Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, Compostela Valley Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy and Davao del Norte Second District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr., and local government officials from all over the Davao Region.
Governor del Rosario and Governor Uy form the pillars, along with Davao Occidental Governor Claude Bautista, Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas and Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional party recently organized by Mayor Sara.
Mayor Sara’s plan to be the next House Speaker excited the crowd aware of her recent much-publicized head-on collision with Alvarez, also the secretary general of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban) of President Duterte.
Mayor Sara had called Alvarez as an “asshole” after the Speaker described HNP as an “opposition party” formed without the blessing of the President.
The badly hurt Mayor Sara also said Alvarez is a “liability to the Duterte administration.”
She called on members of the House to oust Alvarez as Speaker and vowed to campaign against his reelection in the 2019 election.
Mayor Sara farther went ballistic by saying that HNP would form a line-up in the coming polls against Alvarez and his PDP/Laban slate.
Unfazed by Mayor Sara’s threat, Alvarez has vowed to form a complete Davao Region line-up against the HNP.
Mayor Sara snatching the speakership from Alvarez may not happen however if the presidential daughter forgo her plan to run for Congress.
Alvarez may also lose the speakership before the 2019 polls with persistent talks about his ouster as Speaker swirling in Congress.
Also, Mayor Sara may not even involve herself if she wants to scuttle Alvarez’s reelection.
In Davao del Norte, Alvarez has morphed into a political outcast with various sectors criticizing him for his conflict with Rep. Floirendo, whose family owns the giant banana company Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco).
Alvarez is a former political ally and long time friend of Rep. Floirendo, one of the biggest donors to the Duterte presidential campaign in the 2016 election. Rep. Floirendo is also known to have funded Alvarez’s congressional run in 2016.
Their relationship went sour after their girlfriends quarreled in public shortly after the the 2016 election.
The rift has gone for the worst, with Alvarez instigating a House inquiry into the 50-year old Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between Tadeco and the Bureau of Correction (BuCor) covering a penal reservation of the Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol).
Tadeco for decades has been a prime mover in Davao del Norte’s economy.
The Tadeco-BuCor land deal has provided thousands of jobs and revenues for government on top of serving as model for penal rehabilitation with Tadeco hiring Dapecol inmates as farm workers in the once barren BuCor property that the company developed into a banana plantation.
Alvarez has also stirred a confrontation with the Floirendo and del Rosario clans, which are known for their proven political leadership in the province for decades, with his filing in the Ombudsman of a graft case against Rep. Floirendo in connection with the Tadeco-BuCor JVA.
Tadeco was founded in the 60s by Rep. Floirendo’s father the late industrialist Don Antonio Floirendo Sr. with brother-in-law Rodolfo del Rosario, Gov. del Rosario’s father.
Alvarez has also reaped foes from inside the PDP/Laban, with some party mates and a bloc calling for his ouster and declaring him as “persona non grata” for allegedly derailing President Duterte’s flagship anti-illegal drugs campaign through his massive “unauthorized” recruitment of party members that allegedly allowed entry of narco-politicians into the PDP/Laban.
In her Tagum City speech, Mayor Sara however, aborted the crowd’s excitement over her future clash with Alvarez and her grabbing the speakership.
Apparently, she treats Alvarez not only as an “asshole” but also as a joke.
“I would launch here my bid for the Speakership in the 2019 elections,” she had said, but immediately shot down the idea.
“It’s just a joke.”
Of late, Mayor Sara said Congress or any national position in the 2019 election is not in her radar, saying she would seek reelection as Davao City mayor.
Some sectors are pushing her to run for a Senate seat. Mayor Sara has landed in the No. 4 slot in the latest Pulse Asia survey of voter preference for possible senatorial candidates in 2019.