House censures Alvarez for urging troops to turn back on Marcos

House censures Alvarez for urging gov’t troops to turn back on Marcos

/ 05:50 AM May 23, 2024

House censures Alvarez for urging gov’t troops to turn back on Marcos

Former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. —AP file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday night to censure former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for his speech at a Tagum City prayer rally last month where he reportedly called on the police and the military to withdraw their support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

While the House committee on ethics and privileges chaired by Coop-Natcco Rep. Felimon Espares had recommended a 60-day suspension for the Davao del Norte congressman, the penalty was reduced to a censure on the prompting of Camiguin Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo.


Unanimously approved

Romualdo was among the lawmakers who reacted strongly against Alvarez’s statements in the April 14 Maisug prayer rally at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism complex. He even called on the Department of Justice to investigate and possibly file a complaint of inciting to sedition against the former House leader.


A total of 186 lawmakers voted in favor of the committee’s recommendation. Five were not in favor, while seven abstained, including Senior Deputy Majority Leader Sandro Marcos, the President’s son.

Espares said that although Alvarez propounded specific defenses, “we cannot agree that there was no improper conduct committed,” adding that the committee “cannot countenance such words or statements that would put into disrepute the image of our institution.”

“Our colleague should have been more circumspect [about] his words or statements and observed the norms of conduct expected of public officials under our jurisdiction,” he stressed.

He said the panel found that the former Speaker “indeed uttered unparliamentary and inappropriate statements which reflected negatively upon the dignity, integrity and reputation of the House as an institution and on the members of the House individually and collectively.”

In appealing to downgrade the penalty, Romualdo said that while he agreed that Alvarez’s statements in the rally were “unparliamentary and distasteful,” the committee had acknowledged that they were “emotional expressions rather than intentional calls for actual harm or further political consequences.”

Romualdo also said the severity of a 60-day suspension appeared “disproportionate” to the nature and context of the former Speaker’s conduct.

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TAGS: Pantaleon Alvarez, seditious statement

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