Squelching speculations of his critics, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez categorically denied that he spent public funds for his 60th birthday celebration in Tagum City two weeks ago
Reacting to critical newspaper columnists and bashers on social media, he said, “Patunayan nila na pera ng bayan yon, mag-resign ako.”
In a television interview, Alvarez said that while he did not usually hold birthday celebrations, this year was different because it marked a significant milestone in his life.
“Ngayon, kung gusto nilang mag-celebrate ng birthday nila o di mag celebrate sila. Ako, minsan lang ako nag-celebrate ng birthday ko. Ito lang dahil nga, alam mo na, na magsi-senior citizen ka na, konting selebrasyon, di ba? O, last year wala naman akong celebration,” he added.
For the record, Alvarez said he spent his own money, along with those contributed by his friends, for the birthday celebration, which he did not consider as extravagant.
“Doon ako nag birthday sa city hall (ng Tagum City), hindi diyan sa Shangri La,” Alvarez pointed out.
Likewise, the Speaker said he saw nothing wrong with giving his constituents a treat on his birthday.
“Masama bang i-blow out ko ang constituents ko?” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said he did not care if critics persist in their effort to malign him, particularly in uploading to YouTube videos of his birthday celebration.
“Alam mo puwede nilang ipalabas yan nang ipalabas. I don’t care, di ba? O, di magpaliwanag sila doon sa mga ano bumoboto sa akin, na masama iyong ginawa ko, pinakain ko sila,” Alvarez said.
Earlier, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque who attended the event along with President Rodrigo Duterte defended Alvarez from criticisms about his birthday bash, saying the Speaker’s birthday celebration was a simple affair.
“I was in the birthday party of the Speaker. It was in the City Hall of Tagum. I don’t think it can be described as ma-garbo because he only availed of the physical facilities of the City Hall of Tagum,” Roque was quoted earlier in media reports.