Jailed Senator Leila de Lima finally gave her comment this Monday, April 3 on the issue of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez having a girlfriend. The issue went public last week when reports surfaced that Alvarez had a feud with Davao del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio Floirendo Jr. Read De Lima’s letter below.
“For 3 days now, certain media guys have been relaying their request for my comment/reaction in the mess that Speaker Alvarez is now in. I courteously decline. I don’t feel right rubbing it in even as I note that many people esp. netizens have been boisterously expressing their thoughts on this scandal. I also note there is righteous indignation.” De Lima wrote.
“I just have this message for the Speaker – Please stop judging me on my “true character”. You don’t know me. Just ask please people who do. So please desist from perpetuating the lies about my alleged drug links. The people who truly know me will tell you it’s an absolute nonsense. I pray for the Speaker’s peace of mind.” She added.
Last Thursday, Speaker Alvarez admitted having a girlfriend whom reports revealed as a certain Jennifer Maliwanag Vicencio. He defended himself, saying that despite still being married to his wife Emily, he emphasized that they have not been together for a long time. Nevertheless, the Speaker did not disclose how long he and his girlfriend have been dating.
Early last week, Floirendo’s common-law wife Cathy Binag “exploited” Alvarez’ girlfriend, after the Speaker filed a graft and corruption complaint at the Ombudsman against Floirendo. Allegedly, the congressman had a conflict of interest in a lease of land by Tagum Agricultural Development Corp., which is owned by his family.
Leila de Lima Facebook
And although some lawmakers suggested that Speaker Alvarez should be disbarred for having a girlfriend, Kabayan Party-list Rep. Harry Roque and President Rodrigo Duterte himself defended him. “We’re all hypocrites pati si Speaker, lahat kami dito wala nang ranggo kapag ganun. Sino bang walang kaligayahan?” Duterte told reporters this Sunday.