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Floirendo's partner: Speaker's complaint due to 'greed for wealth and power'
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez filed a graft complaint before the ombudsman against his former ally and friend, Davao Del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. He denied that he filed this charge because of a spat between their girlfriends. Pantaleon Alvarez/Facebook
MANILA, Philippines — The partner of Davao Del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. on Thursday said that the problem between her partner and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez boiled down to “greed for wealth, power and influence.”
In a statement, Cathy Binag confirmed that the problem between her partner and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez started with her spat with the speaker’s girlfriend, Jennifer Vicencio, at a festival last year. She, however, clarified that “it was beyond [her]” if the complaint the speaker filed with the ombudsman was “correlated” with this feud.
Alverez is married to Emelita Alvarez while Floirendo, the biggest campaign contributor of President Rodrigo Duterte, is already estranged from his former wife Margie Moran, the 1973 Miss Universe.
“Personally I know it's deeper than what is being printed in the papers. It all boils down to greed. Greed for wealth, power and influence,” Binag said, just minutes after the daughter of Alvarez released a statement slamming Binag and expressing their family’s shock at how the spin on the issue has turned crude.
Finance Assistant Secretary Paola Alvarez, the speaker’s daughter, said that it was incredible how Binag, whom she called Floirendo’s “live-in partner,” exploited personal relationships to “twist” questions of facts.
“It’s completely appalling!” she said.
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“My family and I are shocked that the spin on the issues has become so crass and juvenile. It is incredible how personal relationships are exploited by Rep. Tonyboy Floirendo's live-in partner, Ms. Cathy Binag, to twist an otherwise simple question of facts,” the finance official said.
The younger Alvarez said that her family would like to maintain its privacy despite her and her father’s involvement in public service.
“We hope Ms. Binag will respect that and stop dragging us into her personal issues,” she said.
The speaker’s daughter said they expect that the parties involved would address the issues head on as she reiterated that public interest is paramount and goes beyond the “bonds of friendship.”
Binag said that the relationship between the two congressmen from Davao Del Norte worsened after the altercation between her and Vicencio.
“It's true that I had an altercation with Miss Vicencio during the opening of the Maskara Festival in Bacolod late last year,” she said.
She added: “From then on, things spiraled out of control and one thing led to another.”
She said that it would be petty for Alvarez and Floirendo to be destroying their friendship over a girls’ spat. Binag also apologized to the family of the speaker and said it was not her intention to drag them into the controversy as she was just answering questions from the media.
“If ever I hurt them, I am sorry. I never intended to hurt the Alvarez family because I know where they are coming from. Truth will set us all free,” she said.
Alvarez, who was cleared by the ombudsman in a plunder case on the awarding of the build-operate-transfer contract for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, filed a complaint about alleged violations of the anti-graft law over the alleged anomalous land deal between a firm owned by the family of Floirendo and the Bureau of Corrections.