IS SPEAKER ALVAREZ AFRAID OF LOSING REELECTION BID IN 2019 ELECTION?
WANTS 2019 POLLS POSTPONED
House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Wednesday it would be more “practical” to postpone the 2019 midterm elections to pave the way for the transition to a federal form of government.
But in his home province of Davao del Norte, there is a different reason why the Speaker, who represents the first congressional district, wants next year’s election postponed: Alvarez’s reelection is facing doom.
Alvarez has estranged himself from politicians who bankrolled his campaign in the 2016 election to raise him up from his political grave of two previous electoral defeats.
Presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has also vowed to personally campaign against Alvarez’s reelection for calling her newly-formed regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago an “opposition party.”
He has filed a graft complaint against 2nd District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo with the Ombudsman and has instigated a House inquiry into a land deal between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco), the giant banana company owned by the family of Floirendo.
The Floirendos and Tadeco are widely credited for their economic contribution to the province, and Alvarez’s has drawn severe criticism from all sectors in the province.
Floirendo also happens to be one of the major contributors to the presidential campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Alvarez has also waged a propaganda war against Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario, Floirendo’s cousin, and is putting up his own candidate to contest the governor’s reelection.
The administration party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban), of which Alvarez is secretary general, is suffering from hemorrhage in the massive exodus by members to Duterte-Carpio’s HNP, that was organized by the presidential daughter with the governors of the Davao Region.
Observers say that with Alvarez picking a fight with Duterte-Carpio, Floirendo, Tadeco and del Rosario, the Speaker would end up as an inconsequential dot in the Davao del Norte political landscape after the dust of the 2019 election would have settled down.
In pushing for the postponement of next year’s polls, said aside from Charter change, the House would have its hands full with other activities, such as the budget deliberations, the filing of Certificates of Candidacy in October, the campaign period in February next year, and the scheduled interruptions of congressional operations, including Halloween and Christmas breaks.
“Papaano tayo magka-quorum dito? Syempre magkakampanya na yung mgacongressmen election yan eh, survival. (How will we reach quorum here? Of course, congressmen will be busy campaigning by then since it would be election period. [It’s] survival),” Alvarez said in a news conference.
“Paano natin gagawin ang proposal to revise the Constitution? Kung gusto nating matapos yan, para sakin, yun ang dapat pag-aralan na mabuti ang timetable (How would we be able to make the proposal to revise the Constitution? If we want to finish that, we should carefully consider the timetable),” he added.
Alvarez said Congress must double its efforts and focus on its move to amend the Charter.
“Kung gugustuhin talaga na matapos ito, kasi kailangan mo ng focus dyan eh. Hindi pwedeng basta-basta na lang (If we really want to finish this [Charter change] we have to focus on it and not overlook it)” he added.
Alvarez formally received the draft federal Constitution prepared by the 22-member Consultative Committee, which was handed to him personally by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno.
The Speaker said the lower chamber will start studying the draft federal charter. (PNA)