Duterte ‘pours cold water’ on Arroyo-Alvarez ‘feud’
President Rodrigo Duterte tried to mend the seemingly damaged ties between former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez during a dinner gathering at the Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City Thursday night.
This development came after rumors circulated claiming Arroyo was brewing a plot to unseat the Mindanao lawmaker.
Duterte attended a dinner concert on Thursday night where lawmakers and Cabinet officials, including Arroyo and Alvarez, were present to grace the occasion.
The dinner event held at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay City was hosted by Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.
“Mukhang si Speaker matamlay,” the President said as he addressed the audience.
He went on and assured Alvarez that Arroyo has no plans to replace him as House Speaker.
“Sabi ni ma’am, ‘sabihin mo sa kaibigan mo na wala akong ambisyon maging Speaker [Madam said, tell your friend I have no ambition to be Speaker],’” he said, quoting Arroyo.
Duterte said he came to the event to extend his greetings to Arroyo.
“And you know, I came here also for an important reason—to join you and to greet the President, President Arroyo, because I know today is her birthday,” he said.
During the event, Duterte belted out his favorite song “Ikaw,” which he dedicated to the former president.
He also sang a happy birthday song.
“May I be allowed, ma’am, to sing for you?” he said, drawing cheers from the audience.
Reports of plot to oust Alvarez earlier surfaced after he engaged in a word war with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Alvarez has reportedly said that Carpio was part of the opposition after forming a political party separate from the administration-backed Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Alvarez also allegedly said that he has the power to impeach Duterte.
Alvarez has denied saying these statements. /jpv