By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Despite his recent ouster from the House leadership, deposed Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will continue to serve as one of the top honchos in the ruling administration party for now.
Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) stalwart and Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said Alvarez sent a word through Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi that “he will continue to serve as ruling party’s secretary-general.”
Alvarez was not present during Wednesday’s caucus involving PDP Laban solons which was presided by her successor, former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Benitez said more than 80 administration solons were present during the lunch hosted by the new House leader.
On Tuesday, House Appropriations Committee chair and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles disclosed the reorganization of officials within PDP Laban is likely to happen following Alvarez’s ouster.
The Davao City solon said that the recent change in the House leadership wherein, majority of the members who joined the new leadership under Arroyo are part of the ruling party will surely affect the leadership structure of the PDP Laban.
The ruling party is chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte while former Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is the current PDP Laban president and Alvarez as its party secretary-general.
Pimentel and Alvarez, the ruling party’s top officials both suffered the same fate when they were ousted from their respective top legislative posts.
Pimentel was replaced last May 21 by Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III while Alvarez was ousted in an unprecedented controversial manner by supporters of Arroyo few hours before Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
Arroyo bolted her previous political party, Lakas-CMD in 2017 and joined Duterte’s PDP Laban.
The president and secretary-general of PDP Laban will play a vital role especially for the upcoming 2019 mid-term polls since they are the only two officials authorized by the ruling party’s constitution to issue “certificate of nomination and acceptance” (CONA) to aspiring candidates for both local and national positions.