- House Speaker dared critics to prove he used public funds for 60th birthday celebration
- He said he will resign if they can find evidence of wrongdoing
- He also defended his celebration, insisted it was not extravagant
MANILA, Philippines – Smarting from criticism over his weeklong birthday party, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez dared critics to prove he spent public money to fund his celebration.
“Patunayan nila na pera ng bayan ‘yun, mag-resign ako,” GMA News quoted him as saying. [Let them prove that I used public funds, then I’ll resign.]
According to Alvarez, it was him and his friends who personally spent for the celebration. He also said he didn’t normally celebrate his birthday in previous years but this one was an exception as he had become a senior citizen.
“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 explained.
[I seldom celebrate my birthday. This was an exception, because you know, I’m about to be a senior citizen, so there should be a little celebration, right? Last year I didn’t have any celebration.]
Alvarez added his birthday was simple as it took place at the city hall of Tagum City and not in some posh place like Shangri-La.
“Doon ako nag-birthday sa city hall, hindi diyan sa Shangri-La,” he said. [I celebrated my birthday at the city hall, not at Shangri-La.]
As for the critics who keep on pushing the issue, the Speaker said he doesn’t care as long as his constituents remain happy.
“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,” he said.
[You know, they can keep on showing it. I don’t care, alright? Let them explain to those who voted for me, whether what I did was bad, that I fed them.]