MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday described as “wishful thinking” any attempt to replace House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, saying the fierce administration ally continues to enjoy the President’s trust.
“You know, the Speaker is our most loyal and trusted ally in the House of the Representatives…I don’t think there is any viable alternative to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez,” Roque said in a television interview.
“Although I do hear, you know, here and there, that there is some congressmen who in the past were quiet [but] are now speaking against the Speaker. But all this will come to naught because, ultimately, the President will reiterate his support for Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez…Any such talk is wishful thinking on whoever wants to replace the Speaker.”
Alvarez recently had a tussle with Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Duterte-Carpio, the President's eldest daughter, had dropped expletives at Alvarez in a series of social media posts, livid for allegedly calling her part of the opposition because she decided to form a separate regional political party.
Alvarez is a stalwart and secretary-general 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.
Duterte-Carpio, along with 4 governors from Davao, recently 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.