Alvarez on party-mate Pimentel: Senate must have ‘active’ leadership

Bea Cupin
Alvarez on party-mate Pimentel: Senate must have ‘active’ leadership
This isn't the first time the Speaker has criticized the Senate, which he has called 'mabagal na kapulungan (the slow chamber)'

It’s a new year but House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez hasn’t dropped the old habit of throwing shade at this counterpart in the Senate, Senate President Aquillino Pimentel III.

“It’s up to the Senate leadership. The leadership should be a little more active so they’re faster in passing laws,” said Alvarez in an interview on ANC’s Headstart on Wednesday, January 3.

Alvarez had earlier pointed out that while the House passed over 6,911 bills since it convened in 2016, most of those got stuck in the Senate.

“That’s why only a few are signed into law. But we pass a lot of bills at the House of Representatives, during the first regular session and the second regular session,” he said.

The House is dominated by a “supermajority” led by Alvarez and the ruling PDP-Laban. This bloc is composed of PDP-Laban, allied parties, and even individuals and groups who have consistently voted against the House leadership’s will.

This isn’t the first time for Alvarez to criticize the Senate, which he has called “mabagal na kapulungan (the slow chamber).” Congress is composed of the Senate, which is elected by the voting population at-large and the House, composed of district and party-list representatives.

Asked if this means Alvarez is not satisfied with Pimentel’s leadership, Alvarez turned vague.

“I don’t want to comment on that but I think he needs to be faster so that our President’s goals are given a direction,” said Alvarez, clarifying that he thinks it’s the institution itself that’s lethargic.

Both Pimentel and Alvarez are top officials of the ruling PDP-Laban. Alvarez is secretary general while Pimentel is party president.

The Senate is composed of a majority and minority bloc. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.