Rep. Villarin: Power struggle seen over Sara-Alvarez squabble
The feud between Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is nothing more than a power struggle over “turf and egos” among President Rodrigo Duterte’s lieutenants, an opposition lawmaker said on Saturday.
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said he did not foresee any substantial change in the political landscape even if realignments would occur at the House of Representatives as a result of the Speaker’s tiff with the President’s daughter.
“The feud between Mayor Sara and SPDA (Alvarez) is all about power that’s consuming both parties and fanning these intramurals among Duterte loyalists,” Villarin said in a statement.
On Friday, the younger Duterte did not discount the possibility of running for congresswoman and challenging Alvarez for the speakership. “Everything is still up in the air,” she was quoted as saying in response to questions on whether she would fight for control of the House.
She had earlier issued a number of scathing statements in public against Alvarez after the latter supposedly called her newly formed party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), part of the opposition, as it was not sanctioned by the President.
The Davao mayor also alleged that the Speaker had boasted before a crowd that he, as the Speaker, could impeach, his bosom buddy.
Alvarez denied both those claims but he did not retaliate verbally against his friend’s daughter.
Villarin, a member of the “Magnificent Seven” opposition bloc, characterized the quarrel between the two as a tug-of-war over the President’s political capital.
“It’s not ideological nor programmatic reasons that HNP and PDP-Laban are fighting over but all about access to and control over state resources,” he said.
“If ever realignments happen in the House, it will happen not because of the political opposition but more over quarrel on turf and egos,” Villarin said.
He said the status quo would not last for long.
“The Duterte supermajority in Congress is but a fleeting and temporary alignment that will implode when the light of truth pierces its veil and when democracy shines bright through the holding of regular elections,” Villarin said. /jpv
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