Alvarez to present agenda to party-list reps

Former Speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez said Friday he will meet with party-list representatives next week.

In a text message sent to the Daily Tribune, Alvarez said that he will meet with around 50 members of the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCFI) following the group’s invitation to prospective speakers to present their legislative agenda in the 18th Congress before the group.

On Thursday, the PCFI invited Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, Taguig Rep.-elect Alan Peter Cayetano and Leyte Rep.-elect Martin Romualdez to present their legislative agenda to guide the group in choosing the next speaker.

Velasco, Cayetano and Romualdez, who are vying for the speakership, went to the general assembly to explain their plans in the 18th Congress. Alvarez failed to attend the PCFI’s general assembly Thursday because he was in his hometown.

The PCFI on Thursday declared it will vote unanimously for the speaker of their choice.

Reelected AKO Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said the PCFI is solidifying its forces in voting for the next speaker as party-list representatives want equal treatment with district congressmen.

“Right now, we have invited the nominees to ask for their respective plans for the 18th Congress and also for the coalition,” Garbin said.

“We don’t want to be treated like second class citizens because we all have our own constituencies and special concerns. We want to be treated as equal members of the House of Representatives,” he added.

Garbin said half of the partylist coalition is composed of first-termers as 23 out of the 51 party-list groups that were proclaimed as election winners by the Commission on Elections last Wednesday did not sit in the 17th Congress.

The group also said they will invite those who were reported or rumored to be seeking the speakership namely Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales.