Who are the Speaker’s ‘lodi’?


HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s list of top three personalities whom he looks up to may come as a surprise to many.

Asked during an interview by top showbiz host Boy Abunda as to who are his idols, Alvarez answered without hesitation: “Number one doon ang ating Pangulo, walang bola ha. Sa totoo lang: the President.”

Alvarez’s top choice is expected, being a friend and ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, who was among the special guests during the celebration of Alvarez’s 60th birthday at the new Tagum City Hall in Tagum City last week.

Alvarez said he admires Duterte for two reasons.

“Ah nakita ko yung sincerity. Kasi para maging magaling kang Pangulo kailangan meron kang dalawang katangian. Una yung leadership quality. Pangalawa yung sacrifice. One without the other hindi ka po magigiging successful,” Alvarez said.

Leadership, for Alvarez, means the ability to make things happen for the benefit of the people and the will to make unpopular decisions if this is necessary for the benefit of the greater number of people.

A downside to politics, according to Alvarez, is hypocrisy.

But Duterte, he said, would rather be truthful and say what he had in mind than strive to be politically correct.

The surprise came with the next two in Alvarez’s list of idols: Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevarra.

Mao Tse Tung or commonly known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary, poet, political theorist and founding father of the People’s Republic of China. Ernesto “Che” Guevara, on the other hand, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary and a major figure of the Cuban Revolution.

Alvarez explained, “Eto yung mga revolutionaries, yung merong courage to change the present and mould the future.”  

During his hibernation from politics that lasted almost two decades, Alvarez has been going around Mindanao to push his advocacy for a federal system of government to address the unequal development opportunities between Manila and the rest of the country.

The best thing about being in politics again, according to Alvarez, is that it gives one the opportunity to do just that: “You have the chance to change the nation, just like the President.”

Meanwhile, Alvarez said his wish for his birthday is for a longer time to serve his constituents in Davao del Norte and to be able to help more people.

Such wishes are summed up when Abunda asked Alvarez to describe himself by completing the words: “I am..”.

Alvarez’s reply: “Your servant.” p: wjg