Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, arguably one of the most important political allies of President Duterte during the first half of his tenure, has resigned from Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.

alvarez - Former House Speaker Alvarez jumps ship from PDP-Laban to Reporma
Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez
(TOTO LOZANO / Presidential Photo / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

A statement released by Alvarez’s office Sunday said he “is constrained to tender his irrevocable resignation from his position and membership in PDP-Laban effective immediately.”

Alvarez, who served as House Speaker during the first two regular sessions of the previous 17th Congress, held the position of secretary general of the ruling party. As secretary general, it was his duty to oversee the recruitment of additional members to strengthen the party.

He has been largely out of view in the House of Representatives following his ouster from the Speakership in July 2018, electing to stay in his district. He won a fresh term as congressman after the May 2019 elections.

Alvarez thanked PDP-Laban president, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, for allowing him to serve as the secretary-general of PDP-Laban for almost half a decade.

The statement also bared that the solon had accepted the offer of former Defense Secretary Renato de Villa to lead to chair and revive Reporma, “a non-mainstream party not affiliated with any personality.”

Last August, the at-times outspoken Mindanaoan said in his local radio program that he intends to pursue a voter’s education campaign for Filipinos given the importance of the upcoming 2022 elections.

“This way, the voter’s education campaign can proceed, and rightly be perceived, as politically neutral without risking possible backlash against PDP-Laban,” he said of his decision to join Reporma.

He said that staying as a ranking officer of PDP-Laban while simultaneously handling this advocacy may be misconstrued by critics as “politicking.”

Alvarez is a longtime friend of  Duterte,  PDP-Laban chair.

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