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Ex-Speaker Alvarez resigns from PDP-Laban; joins Reporma

Former Speaker and Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez on Sunday announced his "irrevocable resignation" from his position and membership in the ruling PDP-Laban party after serving as its secretary-general for almost five years.

According to a statement issued by his office, Alvarez was constrained to resign from PDP-Laban as he wanted to pursue a voter's education campaign for Filipinos, knowing the importance of the 2022 elections.

"Unfortunately, serving as a ranking officer and member of PDP-Laban while simultaneously handling this advocacy may be misconstrued by critics as politicking by the Party presently in power," the statement read.

Following his resignation, Alvarez accepted the offer of former Defense Secretary Renato de Villa to lead as chairman and revive Reporma, a non-mainstream party with no affiliation from any personality who might seek the presidency.

"This way, the voter’s education campaign can proceed, and rightly be perceived, as politically neutral without risking possible backlash against PDP-Laban," the statement read.

Alvarez has thanked Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III for allowing him to serve as the party's secretary-general.

He likewise appreciated the party's efforts to bring to national attention the importance of empowering local governments which he, along with PDP-Laban, championed.

At the same time, Alvarez likewise thanked PDP-Laban for its support in the 2016 and 2019 elections.

"The Party’s assistance for those campaigns that led to historic electoral victories cannot be understated," he said.

Alvarez served as Speaker of the House during the first and second regular session of the 17th Congress from 2016 to 2018.

He was removed from his position in a surprise coup d'etat staged by House members on the day of President Rodrigo Duterte's third State of the Nation Address in July 2018, and replaced by former President and then-Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

President Rodrigo Duterte in October 2018, said that his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, had a hand in Alvarez's ouster. — RSJ, GMA News