Former President and returning Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo personally conveyed to House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez Wednesday her support for him to become Speaker in the incoming 19th Congress.
The two met in San Juan City to discuss challenges Congress and the nation, in general, would face in the years ahead.
Romualdez, 58, is with the same political party of Arroyo, 75, who was Speaker in the 17th Congress.
He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the former president for her “words of support and encouragement.”
“Thank you ma’am. Coming from our President Emeritus in Lakas-CMD, it means a lot to me,” Romualdez, who is also Lakas-CMD president, said.
Romualdez said he was counting on the former president for advice in shepherding the House of Representatives.
Arroyo’s expression of support followed a similar pronouncement from incumbent Speaker Lord Allan Velasco during their meeting in Makati.
On Tuesday, Velasco, 44, said: “I believe that his election as Speaker of the 19th Congress will ensure that the legislative agenda of the incoming administration will be pursued and completed. Majority Leader Romualdez has my support and friendship.”
Former Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo, incoming Party-list Foundation Coalition Inc. president and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Zaldy Co, senior Deputy Majority Leader and Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla, and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin also attended the Makati meeting.
Velasco thanked Romualdez, whom he described as “a steady partner and ally,” for helping him shepherd the House in the outgoing 18th Congress.
On Monday, Nacionalista Party stalwarts also paid a courtesy call on Romualdez to formalize their support for him to be the Speaker in the next Congress.
Arroyo’s support boosts a torrent of endorsements for Romualdez from major political groups in the larger chamber of Congress, including his own party.
His endorsers now comprise an overwhelming majority in the incoming House.