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House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez yesterday admitted maintaining romance with another woman not his wife and dared foes to seek his disbarment as a lawyer.
Alvarez said the issue affecting his personal relationship is apparently being used by the camp of Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. to muddle the issues he raised against the Floirendo-owned firms that allegedly bagged one-sided contracts with the government through dubious schemes.
In a phone patch interview with House reporters, Alvarez disclosed that he and his wife, Emelita Apostol Alvarez, are now estranged and have not been talking to each other for a long time now.
“Kung meron sila nakikitang ethical issues, papa-disbar ako for having a girlfriend eh di go on. Mag-file sila ng complaint, baka wala nang matirang abogado,” stated Alvarez.
Alvarez has never made attempts to hide his romance with another woman that he had admitted it in several media interviews.
When asked about the alleged romance, Alvarez dismissed the report as “parlor talk” but later yielded when bombarded with nearly the same questions during the phone patch interview. “Sino ba ang walang girlfriend?” he said although he refused to divulge how long the said relationship has been.
The woman has been identified as Jennifer Maliwanag Vicencio by Floirendo’s live-in partner businesswoman Cathy Binag.
Reports have indicated that the spat between Alvarez and Floirendo was triggered by a feud between Vicencio and Binag.
Alvarez said the controversy affecting the two ladies should be separated from his filing of graft charges against Floirendo.
He said the anomalies surrounding the joint venture contract between the Tagum Agricultural Development Corp. and the Bureau of Corrections should not be clouded by the catfight.
Alvarez said Floirendo has been hiding behind the issue of the two ladies when all that he has to do is to answer the accusations against him. The House Speaker even dared Floirendo to face him on national television to answer the charges.
“If you want to talk about that issue, that would be on a separate venue, separate time,” he said. (Ben R. Rosario)