Philippine politics

Ex-speaker Alvarez quits Duterte party PDP-Laban

Ex-speaker Alvarez quits Duterte party PDP-Laban

CLOSE TIES. Then-House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez delivers a speech during his birthday celebration, attended by President Rodrigo Duterte, at the New Tagum City Hall in Davao del Norte on January 12, 2017.

Malacañang file photo

This comes after Pantaleon Alvarez recently turned critical of the Duterte government, and as political dynamics change ahead of the 2022 presidential elections

Former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez announced on Sunday, November 15, that he was resigning from President Rodrigo Duterte’s party PDP-Laban to focus on a voter’s education campaign and to revive a “non-mainstream” political party.

Alvarez, representative of Davao del Norte’s 1s district, said he served as PDP-Laban secretary-general “for almost half a decade.”

“Representative Alvarez resigned from the party because he intends to commit to and pursue a voter’s education campaign for Filipinos given the importance of the 2022 elections. Unfortunately, serving as a ranking officer and member of PDP-Laban while simultaneously handling this advocacy may be misconstrued by critics as politicking by the party presently in power,” his camp said in a statement on Sunday.

“Given these events, Representative Alvarez also accepted the offer of former secretary Renato de Villa to lead (as chairman) and revive Reporma, a non-mainstream party not affiliated with any personality reportedly seeking the presidency. This way, the voter’s education campaign can proceed, and rightly be perceived, as politically neutral without risking possible backlash against PDP-Laban,” his office added.

The resignation of Alvarez, who was ousted as House leader in 2018, came after he recently turned critical of the Duterte government – and as political dynamics change ahead of the 2022 presidential elections. In September this year, Alvarez said Duterte’s pandemic response is “really a failure.”

Alvarez used to be unflinching in his defense of Duterte, from the government’s anti-drug campaign to its push to revive the death penalty, when he was House speaker. – Rappler.com

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