DAVAO DEL NORTE 2nd District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. said he has listed himself in the rooster of potential candidates as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“I have joined the fray,” said Floirendo in a statement as he confirmed he met with “very important personalities” for discussions that gravitated around who will be the next House Speaker of the House. Floirendo did not name the “important personalities.”
“I indeed met last night with some very important personalities of the land to talk on some important matters regarding the mid-term elections and the 3 remaining years of the Duterte administration. Among those we discussed was the importance of ensuring a stable administration under President Rodrigo Duterte,” said Floirendo in the statement issued yesterday, April 8.
“The 17th Congress under then House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was far from the kind of Congress that everybody wanted. Alvarez was dictatorial, vindictive and divisive leader in Congress that resulted in his abrupt ouster. And with incumbent Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on her last term as congresswoman, many fellow lawmakers have expressed their interest in the House Speaker’s position, including again Alvarez,” he said.
“Thus I have decided to join the fray not for my own political ambitions but to ensure that President Rodrigo Duterte gets a solid support from the House leadership,” Floirendo said.
In the statement, Floirendo rued that he had a hand in Alvarez, who represents Davao del Norte’s First District, becoming Speaker of the 17th Congress.
“I wanted to correct a big mistake I committed when I emphatically endorsed Alvarez as Speaker to President Duterte. I want to unite the Lower House in fully backing the Duterte administration realize its dreams for the Filipino people in the three remaining years. And who could better understand and harmoniously work with a Dabawenyo President than a Dabawenyo congressman?” said Floirendo.
A report earlier said that the meeting between Floirendo and some high-ranking officials resulted in Floirendo’s decision to seek the fourth highest position in the land in the 18th Congress.
Floirendo as the next House Speaker was expected to ensure that ousted House Speaker Alvarez will not be able to regain his old position once incumbent House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo retires from Congress.
The scenario of Alvarez becoming Speaker again may, however, be remote as his reelection is meeting strong opposition from Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario.
Del Rosario is backed by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte and daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. The full force of the Del Rosario and Floirendo clans are also bent on frustrating Alvarez’s return to Congress in the May 13 election.
Alvarez was ousted as Speaker because of allegations of arrogance, corruption and unwarranted acts as Speaker. Floirendo, President Rodrigo Duterte’s biggest campaign fund contributor in the 2016 presidential race, was instrumental in Alvarez’s rise to power as he also funded the former Speaker’s campaign in 2016 and endorsed him to Duterte for possible candidate as House Speaker.