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House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez yesterday decried alleged attempts to lend ill motive to his move to file criminal charges against estranged personal and political ally Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo and his family’s business empire.
Floirendo downplayed the rift as a “brotherly misunderstanding” as he aired hopes that it would be “patched up in no time at all.” However, in a statement sent by his lawyer Nick Banga, Floirendo said he was “curious as to his real intentions and the real issues.”
Reports have indicated that the tiff between the two was triggered by a spat between Floirendo’s common-law wife, Cathy Binag, and an unnamed woman being linked to Alvarez.
In a broadcast interview, Alvarez said the report should be treated separately from his decision to accuse Floirendo of graft.
In a second press statement, Floirendo hinted that the issue that separates them could be personal.
“If our quarrel stems from a personal matter between Speaker Alvarez and myself, I appeal to the Speaker to meet with me personally so that we can settle this like gentlemen,” he stated.
Floirendo admitted that the spat that threatened to end one of the strongest friendship known in the House may have been triggered by rumors that he was masterminding a plot to oust Alvarez and put in his place, former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“I did not give any statement then to defend myself as there was no truth to it at all. I never attempted to talk to Arroyo nor would I ever support any plot to oust Speaker Alvarez, who, in the first place, is a good friend of mine and whom I fully supported during the last election and in his bid for the speakership,” Floirendo said.
(Ben R. Rosario)