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Alvarez ouster was solons’ call — Panelo

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Malacañang on Friday clarified that while presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, had a hand in the ouster of former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the lawmakers actually had the final say on the matter.

On Thursday President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that Mayor Sara single-handedly worked for the ouster of Alvarez from his post.

In a radio interview, presidential spokesman Panelo said that prior to the ouster move, he had learned of some lawmakers’ misgivings on the leadership of Alvarez which ultimately resulted in his removal as Speaker.

“Ultimately whoever suggested the ouster, the final decision will be from the members of the House of Representatives,” Panelo said.

He added that principal actors in the plot to remove Alvarez claimed they agreed to remove him because they were dissatisfied with the way the House is being run.

“Rightly or wrongly, that was the perception of those who voted against him,” Panelo said.
However, Panelo acknowledged that Alvarez did his job of shepherding the passage of priority bills of the Duterte administration.

“But as far as the administration is concerned, all of Alvarez’s actions were in favor to the administration. The bills that were certified as urgent passed in the House,” he added.

The former House Speaker was ousted on the day the President was set to deliver his third State of the Nation Address (SoNA) in July and was replaced by Pampanga Rep. and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The statement of the President on Thursday marked the first time he confirmed his daughter’s role in the removal of his closest ally in the House, whom he described as a “close friend.”

“Bebot, he is a close friend of mine, I will support him,” Duterte said.

The President said he learned of Sara’s role in Alvarez’s ouster through Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. He said Sara and Puyat bumped into each other at the restroom of the Batasang Pambansa during the SoNA where the President’s daughter admitted her role in the ouster move.

In February last year, Duterte’s daughter slammed Alvarez and for allegedly calling her a part of the opposition when she formed a separate regional political party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

Alvarez, who is secretary general of the President’s party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino, denied the allegations, saying somebody might have just misheard him.

Both Sara and Alvarez are gunning for re-election in the mid-term polls, she as Davao City mayor and he as Davao del Norte congressman.

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