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Palace bares Floirendo to join speakership race

palace bares floirendo to join speakership race - Palace bares Floirendo to join speakership race
floirendo congress - Palace bares Floirendo to join speakership race

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

floirendo congress - Palace bares Floirendo to join speakership race

MALACAÑANG on Monday announced that Davao del Norte (2nd District) Rep. Antonio R. Floirendo, Jr. will join the speakership race in the next Congress.

“You might be interested. I don’t know if you know this already. I received a text message, I don’t know where it came from, but it seems… it appears that the Congressman from—I don’t know what district he is representing in Mindanao — Davao — Antonio Floirendo, is throwing his hat into the speakership,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said at a news conference at the Palace on Monday, April 8.

Mr. Panelo noted that the Palace “never intrudes into the other branches” of government.

Asked if the President favors certain individuals for the speakership, Mr. Panelo said: “Oh, he never does that. He allows everybody to seek whatever positions they want and let the constituency of that class decide.”

In his statement on Facebook, Mr. Floirendo said: “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.”

He added: “Part of the 17th Congress under then House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was far from the kind of Congress that everybody wanted. Alvarez was dictatorial, vindictive and (a) 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 Speakership position, including again Alvarez.”

“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. Also, I wanted to correct a big mistake I committed when I emphatically endorsed Alvarez as Speaker to President Duterte,” he said further.

Mr. Floirendo said he wants “to unite the Lower House in fully backing the Duterte administration [in its bid to] 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?” he also said.

BusinessWorld reported in June 2016 that, based on Mr. Duterte’s required Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) submitted to the Commission on Elections at the time, Mr. Floirendo, chairman of the Davao-based Anflo Management and Investment Corp. (Anflocor), “gave a P75-million contribution, given in two tranches of P25 million in early March and P50 million in early April, representing 20% of total contributions.”

Mr. Duterte has said that his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio, “maneuvered” the ouster of Mr. Alvarez as speaker on the day he delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July 2018.

Last February, Ms. Duterte-Carpio said of Mr. Alvarez’s planned comeback in the next Congress, Siguro ‘yung nasubukan na at hindi naging successful ‘wag na siguro, pero of course, PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan) ‘yan, HNP (Hugpong ng Pagbabago) naman kami” (Perhaps those proven to be not successful shouldn’t [seek the speakership], but, of course, they’re PDP-Laban and we’re HNP).

Sought for comment, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) sociology professor Louie C. Montemar said in part, “Let us not forget that his family compromised to return at least 70 million pesos in ill-gotten wealth to the PCGG.” This is in reference to a March 1987 compromise agreement between Mr. Floirendo’s father, the late businessman and alleged Marcos crony Antonio Floirendo Sr., and the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

“We will have the same Banana with the Son of the Banana King,” Mr. Montemar also said.

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