HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez stresses that he is pushing charter change to help President Rodrigo R. Duterte realize his four major campaign promises: to go after illegal drugs, reduce crime, fight corruption, and install a federal form of government. — Photo released by the House speaker’s office.
THE QUEZON City Prosecutor’s Office has recommended the filing of a libel charge against Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon D. Alvarez for his “defamatory” comments against Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio R. Floirendo Jr. In a six-page resolution dated April 26, Assistant Prosecutor Marizen Grutas rejected Mr. Alvarez’s plea for the dismissal of the libel complaint filed against him by Mr. Floirendo for allegedly calling him a “land-grabber.” The resolution states, “Given the acrimonious relationship of the parties, the motives of the respondent in making such statements and that he has no actual malice when he made the defamatory statement is highly suspect.” The two congressmen, who are both running for reelection on May 13, used to be political allies. In 2017, however, Mr. Alvarez filed a graft complaint against Mr. Floirendo for alleged conflict of interest over the 2003 contract between the Floirendo family’s Tagum Agricultural Development Corp. and the Bureau of Corrections. Sought for comment, Mr. Alvarez said that he has yet to receive the resolution. “I have not received the resolution but my lawyer will attend to it as soon as we receive it. Nothing to worry,” he said in a phone message to BusinessWorld. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras