Rift with Sara led to Alvarez ouster – Umali
Former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’ well-documented rift with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte was a factor in his ouster, Occidental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali said.
“I think it was more of the rift of the Speaker with Mayor Sara,” Umali said in an interview with reporters inside his office on Tuesday.
The feud started after Alvarez called Mayor Duterte an opposition, after she founded local party Hugpong ng Pagbabago which absorbed former PDP-Laban’s members.
According to Umali, even Mayor Duterte’s father, President Rodrigo Duterte, was unaware of the developments leading to Monday’s State of the Nation Address (Sona).
“Walang siyang basbas (sa nangyari), that he (President Duterte) openly admitted. But of course, there are a lot of things that happened, hindi naman siya nakiki-alam talaga eh,” the lawmaker added.
When pressed further on the implications on the influence of the President’s daughter, Umali said reporters should ask the President instead.
“Well, siguro he is the best person to answer that,” he added.
Moments before President Duterte was set to deliver his third Sona, a manifesto calling for the installment of former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as House Speaker.
However, during the Sona proper, it was Alvarez who acted as the Speaker. After the event, lawmakers remained inside the plenary hall to elect Arroyo making her the 21st and the first female House speaker.
It was rumored that Mayor Duterte was behind the move to remove Alvarez. The Davao mayor declined to comment on the issue, but she called Arroyo a “strong leader” in a text message to Inquirer.net.
When asked why her name is being dragged in the ouster of Alvarez, the Davao Mayor refused to comment. /muf
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