MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the House of Representatives would not allow President Rodrigo Duterte to step down and cut short his term because he has a “contract” with the people to complete his mandate.
“Ako hindi ko papayagan ‘yan sa House of Representatives,” Alvarez said at the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
The reaction stemmed from Duterte’s statement that he would not hesitate to step down if he feels he has lost the confidence of the public. However, Duterte said his resignation should be approved by both houses of Congress and the military.
Alvarez said Duterte is duty-bound to honor his pact with the Filipino people who elected him as the country’s president.
“Gawin niya ang trabaho niya, tapusin niya because the people entrusted him with the position. Merong contract with the people. Tapusin natin ‘yong kontrata sa sambayanan, “ he said.
He said Duterte must have said that out of frustration because he didn’t have the luxury of time to implement the far-reaching changes he promised to the Filipino people.
“Sa tingin ko nasabi niya ‘yon out of frustration because we do not have the luxury of time. Ang natitira sa term niya ay limang taon na lang at napakarami pang hindi nangyayari,” he said.
The House leader noted that while the House had passed many of the administration’s priority legislations, several of these were still pending at the Senate.
Among others, Alvarez said the House had passed the Death Penalty bill and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) but these are still undergoing deliberations in the Senate.
Alvarez said he is committed to support the President and help him deliver on his campaign promises to the Filipino people, even if he has to come under fire too from the critics of the administration.
“Wala akong ambisyon ‘yong mga kagaya ng iba na may national ambition, wala akong gano’n. Ang sa akin lang paano ako makatulong sa ating Pangulo para ma-deliver niya ‘yong mga campaign promises niya, kasi ‘yon, that will affect the lives of the people,” he said.