By Zion Del Rosario

PHOTO: Edge Davao

Former House Speaker Pantaleón Álvarez advocates for “voter education” as he calls for effective leadership without pretentiousness, weeks after his departure and criticism against the ruling party and its government response against the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We need a leader, a true leader, and not a pretender,” Álvarez said as he officially launches the “We need a leader, 2022” movement Sunday in Tagum City, Dávao del Norte.

He also said that voters must seriously think on which candidate must be chosen as the Philippines’ next leader at the upcoming 2022 presidential elections, citing “big and serious problems” the country is facing.

According to him, a president “should not be numb” to the hardships of poor Filipinos but instead “feel their struggles and pains.”

“A president should have a word of honor. Someone who easily changes his mind and decides back and forth is not OK,” the 65-year-old former speaker said.

Álvarez became the house speaker in 2016 when President Rodrigo Duterte first assumed office but was then ousted by what was supposedly a rigged power struggle by Dávao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

He kept a private profile afterward until September last year when he began spewing tirades to the government’s pandemic response as “really a failure” in a television interview.

Two months later, he resigned from the ruling PDP-Laban and revived the Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma, first established by former military chief Renato de Villa.

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