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Duterte defends Alvarez over GF controversy

President Rodrigo Duterte came to the defense of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez amid the latter's admission that he has a relationship outside his marriage.

Duterte, a self-confessed ladies' man, implied that all officials would stand to lose their posts if fidelity were a gauge for public service.

He made the pronouncement during his visit at Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday afternoon, as he launched into another tirade against the European Union, the Catholic Church, and media outfits Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN, over criticisms of his administration's war against drugs.

"We're all hypocrites here. Pati si Speaker... Ba't matanong ilan [ang babae]? Lahat kami dito wala nang ranggo kapag ganu'n! Sino bang walang kaligayahan?" he said.

"Tanong natin: Ilan ang lawmakers na may dalawa, tatlo, apat na babae? Tanungin mo sila. Tanungin mo ang lawmakers, ilan ang lalaki sa buhay nila? 'Di 'yung mga bakla, ha? Ilan 'yung lalaki — Lalaki man ang sa kanila," he added.

"Ang pari, itong isa pang ulol. Ilang pari dito ang may asawa? Haay naku, hypocrisy," he went on.

Talks of disbarment have surfaced since Alvarez admitted that he has a girlfriend, after their relationship was made publict due to his rift with Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr.

The Speaker, who filed a graft complaint against Floirendo, merely laughed off threats to disbar him.

He has admitted that he and wife Emelita are already separated, and that he fathered other children outside their marriage.

It has been rumored that the quarrel started because Floirendo—Duterte's biggest campaign contributor—was leading an ouster plot against Alvarez to clear the speakership for former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The falling-out also allegedly began because of a fight between Floirendo's live-in partner, Cathy Binag, and Alvarez’s girlfriend, Jennifer Vicencio.

Asked to comment on the fight between his two allies, Duterte said: "Ang asawa nila ang nag-aggravate."

Then he joked: "Hindi babae ang pinag-awayan nila. Lalaki."

As people laughed, the President added: "Ewan ko, tanungin mo sila. 'Basta sabi ni Mayor, lalaki man daw ang sinugdanan... Ang umpisa." — BM, GMA News