Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 15) — PDP-Laban Secretary General Pantaleon Alvarez has tendered his "irrevocable resignation" from the ruling party after holding the post for five years.
Alvarez, who is the former House Speaker and Davao del Norte representative, has jumped ship to Reporma, another political party which he said will focus on developing "a voters' education campaign" that could guide Filipino voters who will participate in the 2022 national elections.
In a statement released Sunday, Alvarez's camp said that serving as a ranking officer and member of PDP-Laban while pursuing such advocacy "may be misconstrued by critics as politicking by the Party presently in power."
Alvarez had accepted the offer of former Defense secretary Renato de Villa to chair and revive Reporma, "a non-mainstream Party not affiliated with any personality reportedly seeking the Presidency," his camp added
"This way, the voters' education campaign can proceed, and rightly be perceived, as politically neutral without risking possible backlash against PDP-Laban," it said.
PDP-Laban is currently chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte, with Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III serving as the party's president.
Reporma, also known as Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma, was founded by De Villa in 1998, but has faded from politics for years now.
In a statement on Sunday, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, also from the PDP-Laban, said he respects the decision of Alvarez.
"His decision to join the Reporma party is a testament that our democracy is healthy, vibrant, and working," he said. "We would like to extend to him our gratitude and appreciation for his contributions to the party. We wish him well in his future endeavors."
Alvarez was ousted in 2018 as House Speaker and was replaced by then-Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Duterte himself had said that his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio had a hand in Alvarez's removal.
The coup came months after Alvarez allegedly criticized the Davao City mayor for forming Hugpong ng Pagbabago, a regional party aligned with PDP-Laban.
Source: CNN Philippines Staff