By Genalyn Kabiling
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez can have multiple wives if he wishes, President Duterte said in defending his ally from criticisms for allegedly having extramarital relations.
The President teased Alvarez about his love life, saying he could switch religions so he could take another wife without getting into trouble.
“Puro kami Intsik dito. Mga mixed. Kaya when he was bannered, bannered to have several wives and the press was attacking him right and left, sabi ko ‘do not waste your time about the behavior of Alvarez. He can take as many wives as he wants,'” he said during the Eid’l Fitr celebration in Davao City yesterday.
“Sometimes he is a Christian, sometimes he is a Muslim depending on the situation where not, how not to marry without trouble,” he added.
Alvarez, a close political ally of the President, was among the government officials present in the Eid’l Fitr celebration held at the SMX convention in Davao City.
The Speaker previously admitted having an affair with his girlfriend despite still being married to Emelita Alvarez. But he claimed that he belongs to the Manobo tribe that supposedly allows polygamy.
In April last year, the President said Alvarez’s extramarital affair was a non-issue since he was never a Catholic bound by strict marriage rules.
While he tolerated the Speaker’s love life, Duterte has opposed to his bill seeking to allow the easy dissolution of marriage. He maintained that he is not in favor of divorce law believing it would be disadvantageous to children and abandoned spouses.