HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez asked the new members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to vote straight for the senatorial candidates of the administration party in 2019.
Alvarez, who administered the oath of about 12,000 Negrense members on Thursday in the cities of Bacolod and Victorias, sought the support of party members for the next senatorial elections.
Speaking before the crowd at the University Negros Occidental-Recoletos gymnasium in Bacolod, Alvarez said: “Ngayon pa lang, nakikiusap ako sa inyo, dahil miyembro na kayo ng PDP. Pwede ba sa dadating na halalan, sa 2019, pweda ba 12-0 ha? (Right now, I’m asking you because you’re now members of PDP. In the upcoming elections in 2019, can we make it 12-0?)”
It drew cheers from the crowd.
He continued: “Kung sino ang line-up ng ating partido, 'yun lang ika-kampanya natin. 'Yun lang sasabihin natin sa ating supporters, eto bobotohin para mabilis magagawa ng pangulo ang pagbabago na gawin para sa ating bayan (Whoever is the line-up of our party, we will campaign for them. We will tell our supporters to vote for them so the President could hastily implement change for our country.”
In a chance interview, Alvarez said that the gathering of forces is “in preparation” for the 2019 elections as it includes senatorial candidates.
‘Mabagal na kapulungan’
Alvarez called the Senate “mabagal na kapulungan,” because they are slow in acting on the bills while those in the House of Representatives, the “masaganang kapulungan,” are hardworking.
He added there are about 180 bills that are pending at the Senate.
“Kaya kinausap ko ang ibang congressmen na lumipat doon sa senado para bumilis sila, (That’s why I talked to some congressmen to transfer in the senate so they will be faster),” Alvarez said.
He said the ruling party is pushing for the senatorial bids of Negros Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez, the third richest congressman in the country; and Bataan First District Representative Geraldine Roman, the first transgender woman elected to the Congress.
Liberal Party scored
Alvarez said the PDP-Laban won’t recruit members who have ties with illegal drugs.
Addressing the crowd, the House Speaker asked: “Sino sa inyo ang kasama sa droga? Taas kamay! Wala?” (Who’s here into drugs? Raise your hands! No one?)”
He added: “The President doesn’t want you to join PDP if you’re into drugs. Kapag kasama ka sa droga, doon kayo sa Liberal Party (If you’re into drugs, join Liberal Party).”
Alvarez said the previous administration didn’t do anything to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs.
“Kasi sila nag palaganap ng droga. Wala silang ginawa noong administrasyon nila. Dumami ang droga sa Pilipinas (They helped with the proliferation of drugs. They didn’t do anything during their administration. The drugs proliferated in the Philippines),” he added.
Moreover, Alvarez, during his speech, assailed LP for its “attacks” and “sabotage” of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ayaw nila ng pagbabago na ipapatupad ng ating pangulo. Kaya gagawin nila lahat para sirain si Presidente Duterte (They don’t want President Duterte to implement change. They will do everything to destroy President Duterte,” he said.
The lawmaker said they won’t let it happen, which drew cheers from the crowd.
“I guarantee you that all the promises made by President Duterte in the last elections will be realized in the remaining years of his term. No matter what will happen, we will do everything to fulfil the commitment of our President,” Alvarez said.
He said that Duterte promised to fight illegal drugs, criminality and poverty, which they are doing right now.