Defender no more? Alvarez says he is ‘disappointed’ with Duterte admin’s performance
MANILA, Philippines — One of President Rodrigo Duterte’s biggest defenders now expresses disappointment over the chief executive’s term, particularly hitting the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Tuesday he had high expectations when he supported Duterte in his presidential run in 2016, but these expectations were not met.
“Para sa akin, having supported the President noong tumakbo siya, yung expectations ko malaki. Now, natapos na yung term, I should be frank enough to say that I am disappointed,” Alvarez, who was ousted right before Duterte’s State of the Nation Address in 2018, said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel when asked how he would rate the administration.
(For me ,having supported the President when he ran, my expectations were high. Now, the term has ended, I should be frank enough to say that I am disappointed.)
Alvarez specifically cited the lapses in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying many are still dying from the disease.
“[Ikumpara] natin [sa] Vietnam. ‘Yung handling ng pandemic doon hindi hamak na mas maganda kaysa sa atin, anong nangyari? Bakit hanggang ngayon ay nandito pa rin tayo? Marami pa ring namamatay, even yung needs ng mga hospitals kulang,” Alvarez said.
(Let’s compare it with Vietnam. The handling of pandemic there is better than ours, what happened? Why is it that until now we are still here? A lot of people are dying, even the needs of the hospitals are lacking.)
Alvarez, who represents the first district of Davao del Norte in the House of Representatives, is known to be one of Duterte’s biggest supporters when he assumed the presidency in 2016.
He was even elected as the first House Speaker of the Duterte administration, while also serving as a high-ranking member of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), which is also chaired by the President.
But things took a turn in 2018 when he was ousted as House Speaker and replaced by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It is said that Davao City mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, the daughter of President Duterte, played a hand in the ouster.
Following his ouster, Alvarez was relatively quiet but came back in the spotlight when he announced his resignation from PDP-Laban in November last year.
Instead, he decided to be a part of political party Partido Reporma which now pushes for the presidency of Senator Panfilo Lacson and the vice presidency of Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
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