DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The party of Davao City Mayor and presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte is endorsing newly-elected Davao del Norte Pantaleon "Bebot" Alvarez as next House speaker.
“Yes, the party PDP-Laban endorsed me to gun for the speakership,” the former transportation secretary confirmed with Rappler on Wednesday, May 11.
“I’m accepting the challenge so I could very well support the new president for his program of government,” said Alvarez, the father of PDP-Laban spokesperson Paola Alvarez.
Duterte's PDP-Laban endorses newlyelected Davao del Norte D1 Rep Pantaleon Alavarez as House speaker @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/V105lGRaJ1 — Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) May 11, 2016
When asked, Alvarez, who served as transportation secretary of the Arroyo administration, said he has mixed feelings about the party's endorsement.
“Happy and sad. Happy because I have never dreamt of it, not in my wildest dreams. And sad because I know the gargantuan work that we have to do,” explained Alvarez.
According to him, his legislative priority would to push for federalism in the country, the centerpiece of the Duterte campaign.
Alvarez said, however, that he is still figuring out a way to push for federalism among lawmakers “in a way that will not hamper the daily activities of Congress."
The Davao del Norte lawmaker made the confirmation on the same day that select members of the Duterte camp met to form his transition team.
Duterte’s executive assistant, Bong Go, said President Benigno Aquino III had called him on Tuesday to say that an Administrative Order was being drafted to facilitate a smooth transition to the new leadership.
The tough-talking mayor from Davao City is now the presumptive president of the Philippines as he garnered 38.5% of the votes or 15.85 million votes in the partial and unofficially tally as of 2 pm on May 11, with 95.50% of precincts reporting results to the Commission on Elections - GMA7 mirror server. – Rappler.com