MANILA - Former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he "might as well abstain" from voting should an election for the chamber's top post be held later Tuesday.
Alvarez said his ouster in 2018, where he was replaced by then-Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was different from Monday's House coup that voted to install Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as Speaker.
"Iba kasi ang sitwasyon ngayon doon sa sitwasyon ko noon. Dahil noon midterms pa lang so 'yung mga congressmen 'yung fear nandodoon dahil mage-election. Pero ngayon iba ito dahil tapos na," the Davao del Norte representative told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(The situation now is different from my situation then. Before it was prior to the midterm elections so congressmen have fear. This is different because it's done.)
"Hindi ako boboto kay Speaker (Alan Peter) Cayetano. Dahil nga si Cong Velasco naman ay kapartido ko sa PDP-Laban so I might as well abstain from voting dun sa Speakership issue."
(I will not vote for Speaker Cayetano. Because Cong. Velasco is my partymate, I might as well abstain from voting in the Speakership issue.)
Alvarez added that he did not sign Monday's manifesto that called on lawmakers to declare the Speakership post vacant for Velasco's election.
Some 50 members of PDP-Laban, Velasco and President Rodrigo Duterte's political party, signed the manifesto, according to Valenzuela Rep. Eric Martinez.
PDP-Laban and its regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, earlier urged lawmakers to honor the term-sharing deal between Velasco and Cayetano.
Duterte-Carpio was widely credited for Alvarez's ouster. The House coup came months after the President's daughter slammed Alvarez for allegedly calling her a part of the opposition when she formed HNP.
Alvarez had denied Duterte-Carpio's allegations, saying somebody might have just misheard him.