Alvarez says ‘no comment,’ ‘surrender’ amid tiff with Sara Duterte


Posted at Feb 23 2018 03:35 PM | Updated as of Feb 23 2018 04:09 PM

MANILA - In the face of tirades from the feisty President's daughter, the usually fighting House Speaker backed down. 

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Friday declined to comment on his supposed spat with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio even as he denied her allegation that he intends to impeach President Rodrigo Duterte. 

"No comment na ako d'yan (I won't comment). Surrender," Alvarez told reporters in Butuan City. 

This was his response when asked for comment on the Davao mayor's statement that the Philippines would be a better country without him.

Pressed to respond to Duterte-Carpio's statement that her father would be a stronger leader without him, Alvarez, among the President's closest allies in Congress, said: "Huwag na nating pag-usapan 'yan (Let's not talk about that anymore)." 

Duterte-Carpio, the President's eldest daughter, had dropped expletives at Alvarez in a series of social media posts Thursday, livid for allegedly calling her part of the opposition because she decided to form a separate regional political party.

Alvarez is a stalwart of the President's party PDP-Laban. 

The Davao Mayor said Alvarez had earlier remarked in a speech: "President iba siya. Speaker ako. I can always impeach him." 

Alvarez denied this. 

"Hindi.. imposible kong sabihin 'yan. I never said that," Alvarez said in the interview before leading the oath-taking of new PDP-Laban members in Butuan City. 

Duterte-Carpio also claimed Alvarez has been calling mayors in the region to say that she is in the opposition and that she has a feud with her father.

Duterte-Carpio, along with 4 governors from Davao, on Friday launched Hugpong ng Pagbabago, a regional party separate from PDP-Laban.

She said she does not see any conflict between her group and PDP-Laban since it is only applying as a regional, not national, political party. 

Alvarez also earlier said Duterte-Carpio's decision to form another political party was a "non-issue." 

The President said Thursday he would not intervene in the feud, noting that both were lawyers.