Alvarez-Floirendo spat may boost impeach try vs Duterte—solon
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano on Thursday said he would take advantage of the spat between Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Davao Del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. to get the numbers for his impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a press conference after filing his supplemental impeachment complaint, Alejano said he lamented that Alvarez and Floirendo’s rift supposedly stemmed from an altercation between the congressmen’s girlfriends.
The Speaker’s girlfriend, Jennifer Maliwanag Vicencio, and Floirendo’s live-in partner, Cathy Binag, had an altercation last year during the Masskara Festival in Bacolod city where both congressmen attended. Binag however denied shouting back.
The altercation was followed by the graft complaint filed by Alvarez against Floirendo, although Speaker denied suing Floirendo for retribution.
Speaker Alvarez’s daughter Paola lamented how Binag put a “spin” on such a personal issue. Binag apologized to the Alvarez’s family for dragging them into the issue, but noted that she found it “petty” Alvarez would burn bridges just because of the women’s fight.
This fight between the Davao Del Norte congressmen over their women could only lead to a split in the House leadership led by the ruling administration party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Alejano said.
Alvarez and Floirendo are key PDP-Laban members and the most trusted men of the President. Alvarez is the party secretary-general. Floirendo was Duterte’s biggest campaign donor.
“Kapag magkaroon ng awayan katulad niyan, nawawalan ng control at unity ang partidong ‘yan. So pwede pong mabasag,” Alejano said.
(If there are fights like that, the party will lose control and unity, which could lead to its breakup).
Alejano said the spat involving the Speaker could split the PDP-Laban and spell out an exodus of disgruntled members who may consider the impeachment complaint against Duterte.
“Anytime, pwedeng magbreak up ang PDP-Laban at makakatulong ‘yan sa ating impeachment complaint,” Alejano said.
(The PDP-Laban may break up anytime and this would be beneficial to our impeachment complaint.)
Alejano said he would talk to other members of Congress who may have “pent-up emotions” due to the petty fight within the PDP-Laban, as well as Speaker Alvarez’s leadership style of threatening to strip lawmakers of their key House positions if they go against pet administration bills.
Alvarez recently made good of this promise when lawmakers who voted no to the death penalty bill were stripped of their committee and leadership positions.
“Hindi ko kailangang ilatag ang ating gagawin (I don’t need to lay down what I plan to do). Definitely, we will go around talking to people, to parties,” Alejano said.
“I can’t speak for the others regarding their sentiments about Speaker Alvarez, pero sa akin pong pananaw, the way they lead members of Congress na bruskuhan, takutan, na hindi nangyayari sa nakaraang Kongreso,” he added.
(I can’t speak for the others regarding their sentiments about Speaker Alvarez, but in my view, the way they lead members of Congress (is) by arm-twisting and instilling fear, which have never happened in previous Congresses.)
Alejano filed a supplemental impeachment complaint Thursday against Duterte for the impeachable offense of betrayal of public trust and culpable violations of the Constitution for the President’s alleged inaction and failure to protect the country’s interests over the West Philippine Sea, Panatag Shoal and Benham Rise in exchange for loans and investments from China.
The former Marine captain filed the supplemental complaint on top of his first impeachment complaint against Duterte for betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery, and other high crimes due to his alleged P2.2 billion hidden wealth, his administration’s bloody war on drugs, as well as the crimes of a vigilante death squad when Duterte was Davao city mayor. IDL/rga