In March 2017, House Speaker Pantaleon "Bebot" Alvarez, who represents the First District of Davao del Norte, stunned reporters when he said, "Diyos ko naman. Kayo naman, sino bang walang girlfriend (My God, come on. Who doesn't have a girlfriend)?"
Legally married to Emelita Alvarez, House Speaker Alvarez was pressed about having an extramarital affair and how that could lead to his disbarment.
The House Speaker previously had to answer questions about his girlfriend Jennifer Maliwanag Vicencio, because her tiff with a woman named Cathy Binag allegedly caused him to file a corruption complaint before the Ombudsman against Davao del Norte Second District Rep. Antonio "Tonyboy" Floirendo Jr. Binag was identified as the girlfriend of Floirendo, who is the ex-husband of Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran.
At that time, Alvarez claimed that he had not spoken to his wife Emelita for a long time. His exact words were: "Matagal na po kaming hindi nag-uusap, sa totoo lang (We haven't been talking for a long time now, to be honest)."
In a Philippine Star report, Alvarez likewise revealed that he is allowed to have multiple marriages because he is a Manobo.
Now, Emelita is speaking out because Alvarez has just presented a bill pushing the legal dissolution of marriage as one of the House's priority legislative measures.
It so happens that one of the grounds for the dissolution of marriage in Alvarez's bill is unhappiness. ABS-CBN News sought Emelita's reaction to this detail. She replied, "Well, he is entitled to have his own feelings but what I would want to say, dapat sa mag-asawa magkasama kayo sa hirap at ginhawa (a married couple should be together for better or for worse). Ako andoon ako all the time sa hirap. 'Yung happiness, ewan ko na lang (I was there all the time when times were tough. In times of happiness, I just don't know)."
Emelita recalled that she and Alvarez were "together" up until last year. She claimed that he "abandoned" her right after he became House Speaker.
ABS-CBN News likewise notes: "Emelita said when she married Alvarez, he was still a Catholic and that she is unaware of his conversion to the Manobo tribe."
Asked if she had anything to say to her husband's girlfriend, Emelita said, "I don't have any message to her. Sana lang (I just hope) that in the end, she would realize mahirap din 'yung pamilya na magkawatak-watak (that it's difficult when a family is torn apart)."