Political bigwigs led by former President Gloria Arroyo, the leadership of the PDP-Laban and the Nacionalista Party, as well as members of the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. have endorsed House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez as Speaker of the 19th Congress.
Arroyo, chairperson emeritus of Lakas-CMD, said she and Romualdez “have been working together for decades in a joint effort to do our best to serve the Filipino people.”
The former president, who ran unopposed in the last elections for Pampanga’s 2nd District, urged Lakas-CMD members to support Romualdez.
“I will be returning to the House on June 30, 2022. I would therefore like to advise the members of the Lakas-CMD that I am throwing my support for Majority Leader Martin Romualdez to be elected as House Speaker in the next Congress. I urge all members of our party to do the same,” she said.
PDP-Laban president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, for his part, said around 65 members of the party who are incoming lawmakers have declared support for Romualdez.
The PDP-Laban, Cusi said, is confident that Romualdez, cousin of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., can “unite and lead” Congress for the passage of significant laws and initiatives for the benefit of the Filipino people.
“His track record speaks for itself,” Cusi said, describing Romualdez as “one of the most hardworking members of Congress.”
“We believe that Cong. Romualdez can bring the various political parties and blocs in the House of Representatives together to continue the legacy programs of the Duterte administration as well as shepherd in Congress the vision of [presumptive president] Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for a more progressive Philippines,” he added.
The Nacionalista Party acknowledged Romualdez’s “outstanding performance” as Majority Floor Leader.
The party said it believes that “Romualdez will be a vital cog as the incoming Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. administration fulfills its vision of unity and prosperity for the country.”
In a gathering yesterday, members of the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. have committed to support Romualdez as the next House Speaker.
“We recognize the vital role played by Rep. Martin Romualdez, in his capacity as House Majority Leader for three years, in making the 18th Congress one of the most productive ever. His work ethic and proven ability as consensus builder enabled the House of Representatives to enact important pieces of legislation that shielded our economy and our people from the devastating effects of a global pandemic,” read the manifestation of support signed by the incoming party-list lawmakers.
The National Unity Party likewise earlier endorsed Romualdez for the speakership.
Romualdez ran unopposed as representative of the 1st District of Leyte in the last elections.
“As part of the majority coalition, we shall be addressing the unity agenda of the administration. So we will be passing legislation amid the pandemic, and we hope that we are already in the endemic state,” Romualdez said.
“We hope to not only heal the nation but also heal the economy. These are the top priority programs of the majority in the incoming administration. And the key element here, of course, is unity,” he added.
He also urged his colleagues to work as one now that the elections are over.
“We are one country, we are fighting this pandemic, we are trying to arrest the flagging economy. Let us rally under one flag, we are all Filipinos, we are one Congress. I want to be a part of the team that keeps us united together in moving the legislative agenda of this country forward,” he said.
Incoming Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos said Romualdez will “solidify the alliance that we are forming in the 19th Congress not just with district congressmen but with party-list congressmen as well.”
“And so I hope that as an incoming neophyte, I hope to learn from all of you. I hope that we all together unified can push the legislative agenda of our incoming President Bongbong Marcos,” said the son of the presumptive president.
For Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, Romualdez would be the next Speaker “not because he is a cousin of the incoming President but because of his legislative prowess, his mastery of the legislative grind or mill.”
“He gets things done, even the most difficult reforms like the Public Service Act for example. He has so many laurels to his credit. A Romualdez speakership will be an asset to the Marcos administration,” Salceda said.