MANILA - Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday said he is willing to marry his girlfriend even if he is still married to his legal wife.
Speaking to ANC's Headstart, Alvarez said that as a member of the Manobo tribe, he is allowed multiple marriages.
Asked if he is willing to marry his girlfriend, the Speaker said: "Pwede kong gawin yun and I am willing to do it."
Alvarez has made no secret of having a girlfriend despite possible disbarment. The Supreme Court had disbarred lawyers for extra-marital affairs.
He earlier said he has long been estranged from his legal wife, Emelita Apostol Alvarez.
Mrs. Alvarez earlier said the Speaker abandoned them right after the 2016 State of the Nation Address.
“Actually I was abandoned right after SONA when he became the Speaker. We've been together for almost 30 years and I’ve been there since the very start that was in 88. We’ve been through ups and downs, I’m there and people of Davao del Norte will testify that I was even the one who campaigned for him but anyway life should go on," she told ABS-CBN News.
She also said that when she married Pantaleon, the lawmaker was still a Catholic and that she is unaware of the lawmaker’s conversion to the Manobo tribe.
The Speaker is currently pushing for a law allowing easy dissolution of marriage, saying the current law on annulment is expensive.
"In Japan, pwedeng parang vendo machine. Doon ka mag-apply ng iyung dissolution of marriage. Administrative na lang, hindi na judicial," he said.