In a free-for-all speakership fight, Leyte Rep.-elect Martin Romualdez has the ace to win the House top post
, a lawmaker from Mindanao said on Monday.
Deputy Speaker and Sulu Rep. Munir Arbison said Romualdez has the numbers to win the speakership of the incoming 18th Congress after getting the backing of the majority of their colleagues.
“Whatever the President’s choice will be the speaker. If he [President Rodrigo Duterte] will not intervene Martin has the ace,” said Arbison.
Arbison said Romualdez is the most prepared considering his experience as a legislator, businessman, and president of the Philippine Constitution Association.
Earlier, President Duterte vowed to exercise a “hands off” policy in the selection of the next speaker
while her daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, chairperson of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional party, said she was not in the position to pick the House leader.
READ: Romualdez pushes Duterte reforms
Several lawmakers earlier supported the speakership bid of Romualdez.
One of them, ANAC-IP Party-List Rep. Jose Panganiban Jr., chairman of the House committee on agriculture and food said Romualdez has the edge over the other candidates for the speakership.
Panganiban said Romualdez “has the edge in leadership qualities, experience, and goodwill among House members” compared to the other candidates for the post.
Earlier, House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said Romualdez is a sure winner in the speakership race following the declaration of President Duterte that he will let lawmakers elect their own leader.
Suarez said a manifesto of support for Romualdez has reached the “magic number” of more than 153 signatories needed to win the post.
READ: ‘Romualdez can boost Duterte’s economic plans’