Speaker to rally congressmen vs. Duterte stand

duterte 10
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in an interview on the sidelines of his visit to the 403rd Infantry Brigade Headquarters at Camp Bahian in Barangay Impalambong, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon on July 6, 2017, urges the New People’s Army to stop their extortion activities. Malacañan Photo

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is unfazed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s opposition to a bill on absolute divorce recently passed by Congress.

The Speaker is one of the main sponsors of the controversial House Bill No. 7303 7303 or “An Act Instituting Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage in the Philippines.”  

Alvarez said he is not even worried that the bill would be shot down by a presidential veto.

Unwavering In his support for the divorce bill, Alvarez said he and congressmen will explain to Duterte the reason over the bill’s approval, in a bid to make the President change his mind.

“I will talk to the President,” said Alvarez on March 20, a day after the bill was approved and after presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that the President is against divorce.

Reacting to Alvarez’s, Davao City MayorSara Duterte said the Speaker should not impose on the President but follow the President’s decision so that there is unity in the administration.

With the President’s opposition to the bill, there are speculations that HB 7303 would be torpedoed with a veto by the President.

But Alvarez said he would push his card before the President with leaders of Congress who said yes to the bill backing him up.

“The apprehension of veto is always there. But if there is a need for us to explain to the President, we will explain,” he said.

According to Roque, President Duterte expressed worry over the fate of children if couples split up under the divorce bill.

The President “said the children would become piteous, “ said Roque.

Alvarez, an ally of President Duterte and secretary general of the ruling PDP-Laban, earlier had said that divorce is the answer to couples with soured relations.

Last year the married Alvarez, who is estranged from his wife, boasted about keeping seven girlfriends, after a morality issue was raised against congressmen in extra-marital relations.

The Speaker’s boast came following a public quarrel between his girlfriend and that of Congressman Antonio Floirendo, Jr.  

Both from Davao del Norte, Alvarez (1st District) and Floirendo (2nd  District) are former friends and political allies but split up after their girlfriends’ spat.

The rift turned to the worse with Alvarez filing a graft rap with the Ombudsman against Floirendo and initiating a House inquiry into the Floirendo-owned Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco).


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