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Alvarez apologizes to Leni, says support is fight vs. dictatorship


TAGUM, Davao del Norte —Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez apologized over his criticisms of Vice President Leni Robredo when he was still Speaker of the House, saying that he decided to shift support Robredo to continue his fight against dictatorship.

"Hindi naman siguro pinaka-critic ‘no. Although, aminin ko, nag critic din ako kay Vice President, marami rin akong nasabi na di maganda at humihingi ako ng tawad, ma’am," Alvarez said during a joint press conference with Robredo at the Davao del Norte provincial capitol.

(I won't say I am the strongest critic, although I admit that I had criticisms on her. I did say a lot of bad things about her and I apologize, Ma'am.)

Alvarez responded to a remark that reminded him he once tagged Robredo as one raring to be president and could be part of a destabilization plot against President Rodrigo Duterte because of her criticisms of the bloody drug war.

Alvarez also said that time that he was mulling filing an impeachment complaint against Robredo. 

"Ito kasi, para sa akin, personal, bakit nakapagpasya akong sumuporta kay Leni Robredo? Eto yun: Ang unang laban na sinalihan ko nung dekada 80, nasa Ateneo law school ako nun, at naalala ko pa din, sumasama kami sa mga martsa sa kalye para tuldukan ang rehimeng diktaduryang Marcos. Kasama ako dun. Yun ang unang laban, Marcos vs. Cory," he said.

(This fight is personal for me. Why did I decide to support Vice President Leni Robredo? It is because the first fight I was in was in the 80s, I was an Ateneo law student, and I remember joining street protests to put an end to Marcos dictatorship. I was there. That is the first fight. Marcos vs. Cory.)

The late President Corazon Aquino took over the presidency after then President Ferdinand Marcos was ousted from power following a bloodless People Power Revolution.

"Ayoko naman na yung pinaglaban ko noon ay hindi ko na ipaglalaban ngayon. Kaya para sakin, gusto ko lang ituloy yung unang laban na sinalihan ko, itututloy ko sa pangalawang laban na ito. Marcos vs Leni," he added.

(I don't want to abandon the cause I have fought for in the past. For me, I will continue fighting for that cause in this election of a Marcos vs. Leni.)

Alvarez was referring to the son of the late dictator, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,  who is running for president.

Robredo, in response, said an apology is not needed.

"Unang-una, Speaker, you do not need to apologize. Kasi over the course of our service naman to the country, merong mga bagay na di talaga mapagkakasunduan. Yung mga magkakampi, hindi naman expected na nagkakasundo sa lahat ng mga bagay," Robredo said.

(Public officials won't always see eye-to-eye. Even allies don't agree all the time.)

"Kami, wala naman kaming personal. Wala sa amin na personal na disagreement," Robredo added.

(It is nothing personal. We [Alvarez] don't have personal disagreement.)

Robredo said she decided to run as an independent candidate for the presidency because she wants to be inclusive, and her willingness to work with Alvarez is just one of the fruits of that decision.

"'Yung [Partido] Reporma naman, pareho ang aming hangarin, to fix our country through good governance and nagkakasundo kami na pareho po yung aming pinaglalaban," Robredo said.

(Partido Reporma and myself have the same goal: to fix our country through good governance and we have agree that we are fighting for the same cause.)

"Meron siguro kaming hindi pinagkasunduan in the past, and most probably hindi kami aligned sa lahat ng bagay. Pero ang parati ko dyan sinasabi, na ang pinakamahalaga ay yung mga bagay na pinagkakasunduan niyo, hindi yung mga bagay na hindi niyo pinagkakasunduan. In this case, pareho din kami ni Speaker Alvarez na naniniwala na 'yung bansa natin, 'yung pinaka interes natin sa eleksyon na ito, ano yung pinaka makakabuti para sa bansa natin," Robredo added.

(We had disagreements in the past, and most probably, we won't be aligned in a lot of things. But I have always said that what is more important are the things we agree on, rather than that things that we disagree on.)—LDF, GMA News

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