MANILA – (UPDATED) House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Tuesday denied rumors that he will reprise his role as transportation secretary and pave the way for the rise of Deputy Speaker Gloria Arroyo to the House leadership.
“Hindi ko alam kung natutulog yung nagsasabi nun pero sa tingin ko naman kwentong kutsero lang yan, ginu-good time lang kayo,” Alvarez told reporters on Tuesday in response to rumors he will soon be replaced by Arroyo as House Speaker.
Alvarez also denied that he will soon be appointed by Duterte as transportation secretary, a position he once held during the Arroyo administration.
“That is a demotion. I would rather stay as a congressman,” Alvarez said.
Rumors have been circulating that Alvarez will leave his post to become Duterte’s transportation secretary in a planned Cabinet revamp.
In a recent development, the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed in its plenary session the ad interim appointment of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
Alvarez has been criticizing the transportation department for its poor performance and inability to help the president deliver on his promise to improve traffic in the country’s urban areas.
Meanwhile, Arroyo confirmed that she met with the president last week but clarified that she was not offered a Cabinet post.
"He (Duterte) told the event afterwards that he showed me the list of the narco-politicians. There’s no offer of a Cabinet post to me. Outside of what he disclosed and that direct question that should be answered by 'yes' or 'no,' I leave it up to Malacañang to disclose whatever they want to disclose about our meeting," Arroyo said.
Asked if the House leadership was offered to her, the deputy speaker replied:
"[Laughter] Maintriga talaga kayo!"