Davao del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. has officially joined the fray for the speakership bid.
Palace spokesman Sal Panelo initially revealed the matter during his weekly press briefing in Malacañang Monday, April 8.
Panelo said he received a text message earlier with the information and that he readily called up Cong. Floirendo to confirm.
“And he confirmed. He is vying for the speakership,” Panelo said.
In a released statement after the Malacañang briefing, Rep. Floirendo confirmed his decision to seek the speakership come 18th Congress.
“I indeed met last night with some very important personalities of the land to talk on some important matters regarding the mid-term elections and the 3 remaining years of the Duterte administration.
Among those we discussed was the importance of ensuring a stable administration under President Rodrigo Duterte,” Floirendo said.
The Dabawenyo solon said that his decision to join the fray is not for his own political ambitions “but to ensure that President Rodrigo Duterte gets a solid support from the House leadership.”
“Also, I wanted to correct a big mistake I committed when I emphatically endorsed Alvarez as Speaker to President Duterte. I want to unite the Lower House in fully backing the Duterte administration realize its dreams for the Filipino people in the three remaining years,” said Floirendo.
“And who could better understand and harmonioulsy work with a Dabawenyo President than a Dabawenyo congressman?,” he ended.
A highly-reliable source revealed that the decision was reached to ensure that ousted House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will not be able to regain his old position once incumbent House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo retires from Congress.
Alvarez was ousted as Speaker because of allegations of arrogance, corruption and unwarranted acts as Speaker.
Floirendo, President Rodrigo Duterte’s biggest campaign fund contributor in the 2016 presidential race, was instrumental in Alvarez’s rise to power as he also funded the former Speaker’s campaign in 2016 and endorsed him to Duterte for possible candidate for the speakership.