Alvarez won't let Duterte cut term short

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2017 09:50 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte skims through a document provided by ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) President and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez prior to the meeting with the leaders from the AIPA member countries at the Makati Shangri-La on September 19, 2017. Ace Morandante, Malacañang Photo

MANILA- House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday said he would not allow President Rodrigo Duterte to step down from his post, saying the latter must complete his term as required by his "contract" with the Filipino people.

The President's close ally said this after Duterte said he would not hesitate to step down if he feels he has lost the confidence of the public. The President said his resignation should be approved by Congress and the military.

"Ako, hindi ko papayagan 'yan sa House of Representatives," Alvarez said in the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum at Café Adriatico in Malate, Manila.

Alvarez said Duterte is duty-bound to honor his pact with the Filipino people who elected him to serve as the country's President until 2022.

"Gawin niya ang trabaho niya, tapusin niya because the people entrusted him with the position. Mayroong contract with the people eh. Tapusin natin 'yung kontrata sa sambayanan, " he said.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano for his part said Duterte should not drag the Congress and the military into his possible resignation.

"If Duterte feels that he cannot discharge his duties anymore as President of the country, then he should resign outright. Hindi na niya dapat dinadamay ang militar at Kongreso sa kanyang drama," said Alejano, a vocal administration critic.

Alvarez said Duterte must have raised his possible resignation out of frustration because may not have enough time to implement the changes he had promised.

"Sa tingin ko nasabi niya 'yun out of frustration because we do not have the luxury of time. Ang natitira sa term niya ay 5 taon na lang at napakarami pang hindi nangyayari," Alvarez said.

He noted that while the House has passed many of the administration's priority legislations, several of these are still pending in the Senate. 

Among others, Alvarez said the House has passed the death penalty bill and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN). 

Both are still undergoing deliberations at the Senate.

Alvarez said he is committed to support Duterte and help the Chief Executive deliver on his campaign promises, even if this would draw criticism.

'Wala akong ambisyon [na] 'yung mga kagaya ng iba na may national ambition... wala akong ganun. Ang sa akin lang, paano ako makatulong sa ating Pangulo para ma-deliver niya 'yung mga campaign promises niya, kasi 'yun, that will affect the lives of the people," Alvarez said.