Floirendo wants to be House Speaker to block Alvarez
Updated @ 11:56 p.m., April 8, 2019, to add more details
DAVAO CITY — Reelectionist Rep. Antonio Floirendo of Davao del Norte’s second district on Monday said he was eyeing the speakership in the 18th Congress to block Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez of the first district from taking it back.
Alvarez, who is also seeking a fresh term in the May 13 elections, held the speakership since 2016 until he was replaced by Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last year.
Floirendo said he needed to ensure that President Rodrigo Duterte would get full House backing in the remaining three years of his term.
“I wanted to correct a big mistake I committed when I emphatically endorsed Alvarez as Speaker to President Duterte,” Floirendo said. “With incumbent [Speaker] Arroyo on her last term, many fellow lawmakers have expressed their interest in the position, including again Alvarez,” he said.
“Part of the 17th Congress under… Alvarez was far from the kind of Congress that everybody wanted,” Floirendo said. He described Alvarez as a “dictatorial, vindictive and divisive leader.”
Floirendo said he made the decision on Sunday after a meeting where the impact of the midterm elections on the President’s remaining years was discussed.
“Among those we discussed was the importance of ensuring a stable administration under the President… Thus I have decided to join the fray, not for my own political ambitions but to ensure that the President gets solid support from the House leadership,” he said.
In March 2017, Floirendo feuded with Alvarez, a former ally, when the latter accused him of graft in the Office of the Ombudsman over the lease of 5,000 hectares of government land to the Floirendo-owned Tagum Development Co.
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