FLOIRENDO: SUPPORTING ALVAREZ TO BE SPEAKER WAS A BIG MISTAKE

Davao Del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. on Monday said that he was remorseful that he endorsed province mate Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez to be Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 17th Congress.

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Floirendo is among the biggest contributors to the presidential run of Duterte in the 2016 elections. Alvarez was a two-time loser against Floirendo-backed candidates in previous elections in  Davao del Norte’s First District. He joined the Floirendo camp in the 2016 elections and won with the political and financial support of Floirendo and the camp of his uncle, former Governor Rodolfo del Rosario Sr.

Floirendo and the Del Rosarios — Governor Anthony del Rosario contesting the reelection of Alvarez and Rodolfo “Rodney” del Rosario Jr. versus virtual unknown Edwin Jubahib in the gubernatorial race — are running in the May 13 midterm elections under the banner of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP), the regional political party organized by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. Alvarez leads the Alvarez Wing, a local faction of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban).

Floirendo  said he committed a big mistake when he endorsed Alvarez as Speaker to President Duterte.

Floirendo dished out his frustration at Alvarez as he confirmed that he will be seeking the post of Speaker  of the House of Representatives in the upcoming 18th Congress “to ensure that President Rodrigo Duterte gets solid support from the House leadership” in his last three years in office.

In a message to the media, Floirendo said he met Sunday night with “some very important personalities of the land” regarding the mid-term elections and the remaining years of the Duterte administration.

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He said among the matters discussed was the importance of ensuring a stable administration under Duterte.

The Davao del Norte lawmaker noted that part of the 17th Congress under then Speaker Alvarez was far from the kind of Congress that everybody wanted. Alvarez was ousted on July 23 last yer before President Duterte could deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Alvarez was dictatorial, vindictive and divisive leader in Congress that resulted in his abrupt ouster. And with incumbent Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on her last term as congresswoman, many fellow lawmakers have expressed their interest in the House speakership position, including again Alvarez,” he said.

Besides Alvarez, among those reportedly eyeing the speakership are former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco and former Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez.

“I want to unite the Lower House in fully backing the Duterte administration realize its dreams for the Filipino people in the three remaining years. Thus, I have decided to join the fray, not for my own political ambitions, but to ensure that President Duterte gets a solid support from the House leadership,” Floirendo said.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he received a text message from Floirendo informing the Palace of his plans.

The Palace official, however, clarified that President Duterte does not meddle with leadership concerns at the House. (with PNA report)

“He (Duterte) allows everybody to seek whatever position they want,” Panelo said.

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