Colleagues slam Alvarez for ‘seditious’ statements vs. PBBM

By Jose Cielito Reganit

April 15, 2024, 6:33 pm

<p>File photo</p>

File photo

MANILA – The recent call of former speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to withdraw its support for President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is tantamount to an act of sedition or rebellion, some of his colleagues said Monday.

In a statement, Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel said Alvarez is “stoking the fires of divisiveness” at a time when the country needs economic gains to address the problems of the nation.

“The remarks of the former speaker are uncalled for. That is tantamount to an act of sedition or rebellion,” Pimentel said.

Alvarez issued the remarks during a prayer rally of die-hard supporters of former president Rodrigo R. Duterte in Tagum City on Sunday.

He said the AFP should withdraw support from President Marcos to prevent the escalation of the tension with China in the West Philippine Sea due to its illegal encroachment into Philippine territory and exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“Now is not the time to be divisive when our country is trying to promote our country to be an investment haven to foreign investors. Instead, we should all unite and give our support to President Bongbong Marcos Jr. with his effort for economic reforms,” Pimentel said.

Meanwhile, Camiguin Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Alvarez for the latter’s “seditious statement” and file the necessary charges.

“The response to the seditious statement should be the immediate filing of a criminal case so that the move to incite people, including the military, to rebel against the government will be nipped in the bud,” Romualdo said in a separate statement.

He noted that the crime of sedition includes a person’s conduct, remarks or speech inciting the public to move against the state or duly-constituted or elected authority.

“Clearly, what former speaker Alvarez remarked during a rally in Tagum City falls within the purview of sedition,” he said.

In another statement, Lanao del Norte 1st District Rep. Khalid Dimaporo cautioned Alvarez to choose his words carefully, as his recent ones seem to constitute conduct unbecoming a member of the House of Representatives.

“I would kindly urge the former speaker to be cautious with his words and clear on his intent. At face value, his anti-government statements are unbecoming of a member of the House of Representatives and may warrant an ethics case against him,” Dimaporo said.

La Union 1st District Rep. Francisco Paolo Ortega asked Alvarez to instead work with his colleagues and not waste time on destabilizing the administration.

“We miss you in the House, sir, in plenary sessions and in committee hearings, in which most of us actively participate,” he said, adding that Alvarez’s concerns can be constructively discussed in the chamber “for the nation’s best interests.”


The DOJ said it is studying whether to consider the request of Romualdo for the agency to take official action against Alvarez.

"The department is studying the matter. We must first see the full context of the statement to see if it indeed rises to the level of sedition," DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano said in a message to reporters. (With a report from Benjamin Pulta/PNA)