House of Representatives

Instead of suspension, Pantaleon Alvarez is censured by the House

Kaycee Valmonte

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Instead of suspension, Pantaleon Alvarez is censured by the House
Lawmakers reduce the 60-day-suspension penalty recommended by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges

MANILA, Philippines – Voting 186-5 with 7 abstaining, the House of Representatives decided on Wednesday, May 22, to censure Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez for “disorderly behavior.”

“Censure is a formal reprimand, a public statement by the House of Representatives of its disapproval of the conduct of Representative Pantaleon Alvarez,” Camiguin Representative Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said.

The House Committee on Ethics and Privileges wrapped up its investigation into the case of Alvarez on May 21. He was accused of disorderly behavior and gross neglect of duties by Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy, along with 22 others.

“The seriousness and the sensitivity of the allegations in the complaint, as well as the substantial pieces of evidence submitted to support the allegation, lead the committee to dwell into this investigation as it touches the very fiber of our institutional morality in order to protect the integrity, dignity, and reputation of the House and its members,” said Coop-NATCCO Party-list Representative Felimon Espares, who chairs the committee.

“Our colleague should have been more circumspect on his words or statements and observed the norms of conduct expected of public officials under our jurisdiction.”

Uy accused Alvarez of making libelous remarks about fellow public officials in Davao del Norte, neglecting his duties as a congressman, and making seditious statements.

Espares took note of the statements made by Alvarez in a Maisug rally in April, where the former House Speaker called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to withdraw their support for the Marcos administration.

“As a matter of fact, there were duly-constituted authorities, including ours, that responded to the uttered statement and call of our colleague putting the members and the institution [in] the spotlight in the different and various sectors of our society,” Espares said.

The rally was attended by over 7,000, mostly supporters of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

Alvarez later apologized for the statements, which apparently stemmed from his disagreements with how the government is approaching the situation in the West Philippine Sea.

In reviewing the complaint, the committee during its preliminary hearing decided to drop allegations of negligence due to lack of evidence.

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The panel originally recommended slapping Alvarez with a 60-day suspension. However, colleagues moved to downgrade the penalty to just censure.

“This approach fosters a more constructive and rehabilitative outcome, allowing Representative [Alvarez] to make amends and in the future, be more circumspect in making statements in public,” said Romualdo. –

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