Malacañang on Monday said it will not be interfering in any attempt to change the leadership of the House of Representatives after reports on supposed move to oust House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez surfaced.
“Malinaw po na ang liderato ng kamara ay isang internal na bagay para sa Kamara de Representante at hindi po nanghihimasok ang Malakanyang dyan (It is clear that the leadership of the House is an internal thing and the Palace won’t interfere),” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said over Radyo Inquirer.
Various media reports confirmed that allies of President Rodrigo R. Duterte at the House of Representatives (HOR) are moving to replace Alvarez with former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Duterte’s allies also said this move has the support of the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who earlier had a spat with Alvarez.
The squabble between Alvarez and Duterte-Carpio started last February when the former called the latter part of the opposition after she formed a regional political party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).
This comment did not sit well with Duterte-Carpio, prompting her to say that Duterte would be “stronger” if Alvarez is not with him.
Duterte-Carpio also called Alvarez an “asshole” and vowed to campaign against his reelection in the 2019 mid-term election. Alvarez represents the First District of Davao del Norte.
She pointed out that HNP has the President’s approval and blessing and that he knew from the start that she will not join the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.
Alvarez, PDP-Laban secretary general, earlier invited Duterte-Carpio to join the party.
“I would like everyone to know, including the Speaker of the House, that the unity I forged with the four governors of Region 11 has the blessing of President Rodrigo Duterte,” she said in an earlier statement.
Earlier this month, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) approved the accreditation of HNP as regional political party.