Davao del Norte

Alvarez: ‘Sorry, I got carried away by strong emotions’

Ferdinand Zuasola

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Alvarez: ‘Sorry, I got carried away by strong emotions’

SUPPORT. Former speaker and Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez throws his support for Governor Edwin Jubahib on Thursday, April 11, 2024. courtesy of Newsline Philippines

courtesy of Newsline Philippines

The former speaker, however, maintains that his controversial remarks were not meant to incite sedition, saying he did not espouse violence

DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines – Former speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez apologized on Tuesday night, April 16, for his call for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to withdraw support from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., but denied that it was inciting sedition.

“Pasensya na,” Alvarez told fugitive preacher Apollo Quiboloy’s media arm, Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), “nadala rin ng bugso ng damdamin. Mahal ko ang Pilipinas, lalo na ang Mindanao.”

(Sorry, I got carried away by strong emotions. I love the Philippines, especially Mindanao.)

Alvarez said this after drawing flak for his call on the military to withdraw its support from the Marcos administration during the Hakbang ng Maisug rally in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, on Sunday, April 14. The rally was led by former president Rodrigo Duterte and organized as an offshoot of Malacañang’s April 8 suspension order against Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib.

The former speaker said his call, which stirred controversy and sparked adverse reactions from government officials and the military establishment, was not meant to incite sedition because he did not espouse violence.

Alvarez said his remarks in Tagum were a result of his dismay over Philippine foreign policy, particularly regarding the contentious issue of the West Philippine Sea.

“At paano ako tatahimik? Tingnan n’yo nangyayari. Kinakaladkad tayo ng Malacañang papunta sa digmaan kahit na ang China ay nauunahan na ang Amerika pagdating sa ekonomiya, teknolohiya at lakas ng military. Hindi siya katanggap-tanggap. May nuclear weapons sila, kaya rin nila magpapaputok at hindi tayo makakapalag. Maraming Pilipino ang mamamatay. Ubos tayo,” he said.

(And how can I stay quiet? Look at what’s happening. Malacañang is dragging us towards war even though China is already ahead of America in terms of economy, technology, and military strength. It’s unacceptable. They have nuclear weapons, so they can use them and we won’t be able to fight back. Many Filipinos will die. We’ll be wiped out.)

He said he was prepared to answer for his controversial remarks before the House of Representatives, and was not worried about the prospect of being expelled because he was about to step down as congressman anyway.

Alvarez is serving his third and last term as a Davao del Norte representative, and is constitutionally barred from seeking reelection in next year’s elections.

Alvarez’s call for action did not go unnoticed by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, who ordered an investigation into the former speaker’s pronouncements, citing concerns over potential legal ramifications.

“I have ordered an investigation on the statements of Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez to determine whether it has risen to the level of sedition, inciting sedition, or even rebellion,” Remulla said, urging Alvarez to uphold ethical standards befitting his role as a lawmaker.

The AFP has also rebuffed Alvarez’s plea for military intervention, emphasizing their loyalty to the government and rejecting any notion of abandoning their allegiance to the duly-elected leadership. – Rappler.com

1 comment

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  1. ET

    Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez showed how brave he was when he spoke those words, which led to sedition. Finally, he did retreat, but the harm had been done. I believe that just like in the “Charge of the Light Brigade,” the cavalry commander received a wrong command, which led to their death. Rep. Alvarez just followed a faulty command, which damaged his reputation. In the future, that “Hakbang ng Maisug” name, if its speakers will keep retreating like Rep. Alvarez, may be renamed “Hakbang ng mga Duwag.”

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