House censures ex-Speaker Alvarez for seditious remarks

House censures ex-Speaker Alvarez over ‘seditious’ remarks

/ 07:19 PM May 22, 2024

House censures Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez

Former speaker and incumbent Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez  (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives adopted the amended committee on ethics and privileges’ recommendations, censuring former speaker and now Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez over complaints regarding allegedly seditious remarks made in a rally.

During the session on Wednesday, committee chairperson and COOP NATCCO party-list Rep. Felimon Espares presented the panel’s report — recommending that Alvarez be suspended for 60 days.


“Our colleague should have been more circumspect on his words or statements or observed the norms of conduct expected of public officials under our jurisdiction,” Espares said.


Camiguin Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, however, asked that the House reconsider this penalty as it might be too harsh — given that Alvarez admitted that he was only emotional when he uttered statements against President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration.

Instead, Romualdo asked that Alvarez be given a penalty of censure.

“While I agree that the statements made by Rep. Alvarez were unparliamentary and distasteful, that his behavior undeniably discredited the House of Representatives, the committee acknowledged that they were emotional expressions rather than intentional calls for actual harm or further political consequences,” Romualdo said.

“The severity of a 60-day suspension appears disproportionate to the nature and context of his misconduct.  I will move, Madam Speaker, therefore at the proper time, that the penalty of 60-day suspension recommended by the committee on ethics be reduced to censure,” he added.

After deliberation, Espares agreed with the amendments, prompting the plenary to proceed with the voting — where 186 lawmakers voted in the affirmative, five in the negative, and seven abstentions.

Last May 3, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Raul Angelo Bongalon confirmed that the committee found the complaints against former Alvarez, to be sufficient form and content.


Bongalon said the complaints were filed for alleged habitual absences, statements against Davao del Norte officials and Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo, and supposedly seditious remarks during a rally.

However, Espares said last May 16 that the habitual absence complaint was dismissed because the only evidence presented by complainants were based on a statement from a lawmaker, who supposedly asked Alvarez to show up to work.

Espares said that Alvarez was able to show a letter he wrote to House Secretary General Reginald Velasco regarding a request for remote work, to address concerns in his district.

For the seditious remarks, complaints focused on Alvarez’ criticism of President Marcos’ strategy on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue, asking the President to resign if he would supposedly drag the Philippines into a conflict with China over the WPS.

Alvarez also urged members of the military to withdraw their support of Marcos, which defense officials believe was an act of sedition.

The former speaker made the call to cops and soldiers in a rally held in Tagum City last April, as he was dissatisfied with Marcos Jr.’s policies.  His long-time ally, former president Rodrigo Duterte was also present at the event.

The statements from Alvarez and Duterte came after the Philippines participated in the first-ever trilateral summit with the United States (US) and Japan, where several measures for strengthened economic cooperation and steps to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region were discussed, on the backdrop of heightened tensions over the South China Sea.


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TAGS: House of Representatives, Pantaleon Alvarez

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