By: Elena Grace Flores
As Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez’s Speakership at the House became final when he was elected Speaker by 86 percent, or 251 of the 292 members of the House of Representatives in the 17th Congress, people cannot help but speculate that this is indeed pay back time. It was remembered that It was Alvarez who convinced the President to run saying that his destiny is to be President of the Philippines.
Alvarez has also named five deputy Speakers, who would help ensure speedy approval of his legislative agenda—Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Negros Occidental Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Nationalist People’s Coalition), Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro (National Unity Party), Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu (Nacionalista Party) and Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo (Liberal Party).
Alvarez do know that he needs to be supported to ensure that the President’s agenda will be implemented. He cannot do it alone even if he has the power of the super majority.
Now that a Binay ally will be the minority leader in the person of Suarez, it is not certain if Alvarez can fast track the re-imposition of the death penalty and lowering the age of minors to be accountable with their crime committed plus the change to federalism – judging that most of them adhere to human rights laws. Even if Suarez will spearhead those movements, he might find it difficult to convince the others who adapted Binay’s peaceful nature.
The tasks ahead are for sure multitude that must be taken cared of at once – to at least fulfill the promise of the President to change this country for the better at the soonest possible time. Despite the pressure, people are hopeful that Alvarez will not act like a political prostitute anymore – like in the case of de Lima. He should allow due process of law in whatever he do – because it will also serve as the safety net of the president after doing some drastic moves that could hurt people – good or bad. After all, he is not the president of the obedient citizens only but also the head of the unruly ones. He should take care of all citizens because each Filipino is important.