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Romualdo to ex-Speaker Alvarez: Free speech claim is ‘palusot’

Maricel Cruz

Camiguin Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo on Wednesday lauded the decision of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla to investigate former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for his “seditious statement” in calling on the military to withdraw support from the Marcos administration.

Alvarez claimed his call is part of his freedom of speech, which Romualdo said “is just a palusot, an excuse to evade prosecution.”

“Huwag na po tayong magpalusot. The former speaker very well knows that free speech is not absolute. One cannot make a seditious call or a libelous statement without facing the consequences,” Romualdo said.

It was the Camiguin lawmaker who asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday to look into Alvarez’s remarks during a rally in Tagum City.

Remulla on Tuesday said his department would determine whether the former House leader’s call on the military to withdraw support from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “has risen to the level of sedition, inciting to sedition or even rebellion.”

Romualdo said it would not be difficult for the Justice Department to evaluate Alvarez’s statements, suggesting it should issue a show-cause order to Alvarez.

“There is ample evidence, including a recording of the remarks. In fact, there is now an admission from the former speaker. There is a defense-excuse-palusot as well,” he added.

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