Davao del Norte Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario said this of First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as the former House Speaker said the governor could not get his hand on congressional funds because he is not a congressman.
“Wala ko kabalo ug asa niya gibutang ang iyang utok (I do not know where he placed his brain), said AGR in a radio interview with Al Genoguin in the program Kontra Balanse in Davao City-based radio DXOW Tuesday morning.
AGR has announced that Speaker Gloria Arroyo, who ousted Alvarez in a coup in July, assured him of P5 million to P10 million in development funds for each of the barangays in Davao del Norte.
AGR said Arroyo also promised similar amount of funds to Compostela Valley Governor Tyron Uy, Davao Occidental Governor Claude Bautista and Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang.
In a report in Davao Region-based weekly Mindanao Sun Chronicle, Alvarez belittled AGR’s statement saying that the governor was lying about funds from Arroyo coming to the barangays.
“Smarting from his fall from the Speakership, District 1 Congressman Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez fired his first salvo Monday, June 6 after that unpleasant coup, charging that the latest say-so of Governor Anthony del Rosario that each barangay in the province would get P5 to P10 million under the new Speaker GMA is a “big lie,” said the report in the weekly published by Cha Monforte.
“Kanang miingon siya (Governor del Rosario) nga naa moy tag P5 million, tag P10 million ayaw mo og too ana bakak na kay dili ingon ana kasayon ang pagbutang og budget sa General Appropriations Act (GAA) ilabina gayod nga dili ikaw ang Congressman. Ayaw mo og too ana puro na atik siguro kung five million o ten million ka litik pwede siguro,” Alvarez said.
AGR said Alvarez appears to deny the powers vested on the office of the Speaker.
Arroyo has the power to add or remove development funds in the budget, said AGR.
He said that when he was the Speaker, Alvarez in fact gave “zero budget” for the districts of House members who did not support his pet bills and those he considers as political opponents.
The governor cited the case of Davao del Norte’s Second District whose development projects were scrapped because Alvarez does not like Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr., his former political ally and benefactor.
The long friendship between Alvarez and Floirendo was shattered in 2016 following a public quarrel between their girlfriends.
Alvarez, following the split, instigated a House inquiry into a land deal between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Floirendo-owned Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco).
Alvarez also filed a graft case at the Ombudsman against Floirendo in connection with the Tadeco-BuCor Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) covering the reservation area of the Davao Penal Colony.
Alvarez hounded Floirendo and Tadeco even as the JVA was approved by the House and the Office of the President.
Alvarez is seeking reelection in the 2019 mid-term election but his fall from the speakership is not the only political tragedy in store for the ex-Speaker.
AGR and Floirendo are teaming up to derail his reelection bid.
Presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte has also vowed to campaign against Alvarez’s return to Congress. Inday Sara reportedly lobbied with congressmen in the ouster of Alvarez, who has called as an opposition party, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago, a regional political party that Inday Sara organized along with the governors of the Davao Region.