MANILA -- Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez on Monday said he will withdraw his bid to return as House Speaker if it is proven that he threatened to humiliate President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who allegedly orchestrated Alvarez's ouster as speaker last year, spurned his offer of reconciliation last week, claiming that he was caught on video while threatening to humiliate her.
"Very unlikely na sinabi ko iyun (that I said that)," Alvarez told ANC.
"Halimbawa, mayroon talagang video na sinabi ko iyun, I will withdraw from the speakership kasi hindi ko dapat sinabi iyun. 'Pag nasabi ko man iyun, wala akong karapatan para tumakbong speaker," he added.
(For example, if there really is a video where I said that, I will withdraw from the speakership because I should not have said that. If I really said that, I have no right to run as speaker.)
Duterte-Carpio last week said Alvarez "was and he remains to be a very dangerous, Machiavellian individual who does not deserve peace."
Addressing this remark, Alvarez said, "That is a personal perception and I sincerely respect it."
Alvarez said he recently had a "cordial" meeting with the President about his intention to lead the House again. Duterte, he said, neither encouraged nor dissuaded him.
The lawmaker also said he remains friends with the President.
"Wala akong ibang intention except to offer myself to the administration para tumulong... Marami pa ang kailangan ideliver ng ating Pangulo sa mamamayan. Tingin ko naman, ako ay sincere enough para tulungan ang ating Pangulo," he said.
(I have no other intention except to offer myself to the administration to help. The President still needs to deliver many promises. I think I am sincere enough to help him.)
The 18th Congress is set to convene in July, with Duterte’s “super majority” expected to push the rest of his legislative agenda, including more tax reforms and a shift to federalism.
Among those gunning for the speakership are incoming Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and former Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who regained a congressional seat in Taguig in the May 13 elections.