PRESIDENTIAL frontrunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte urged his supporters Saturday night to vote for senatorial candidate Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, saying he would strengthen the fight for reforms and bring compassion or malasakit back to public service.
At his miting de avance at Luneta Park in Manila, Duterte urged voters to trust those with proven accomplishments rather than candidates who merely make promises.
“He [Romualdez] has compassion for the people and is a committed public servant in pushing reforms,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he adopted Romualdez, head of the independent minority bloc in the House, as a guest senatorial candidate because they shared similar platforms to ensure peace and order, curb corruption and red tape, offering free college education, improving health services for the poor, creating better job opportunities and delivering efficient public and social services.
Romualdez reiterated his plan to push in-city resettlement through decent and affordable
housing for the urban poor, to institutionalize and strengthen the conditional cash transfer program, to champion further the interests of people with disabilities, and to end the practice of contractualization among businesses.
“I offer myself to be your representative and voice to the Senate through my malasakit advocacies. I seek people’s trust and support for me to carry and fulfill my platforms and programs to the Senate,” Romualdez said.
He said free and quality education was the “expressway” for Filipinos to escape poverty and unemployment.
Romualdez, a shared guest senatorial candidate of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, has won the endorsement of major religious groups such as the Iglesia ni Cristo, the El Shaddai Movement and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name.
He has also been endorsed by at least 500 urban poor groups under the Sulong Mamayang Pilipino.
The congressman has also won the support of major transport groups and alliances, including Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP), the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (Acto), the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap) and Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburbs Drivers Association Nationwide (Pasang Masda).
The One Cebu party has vowed to deliver more than two million votes for Romualdez.
The 142-strong Liga ng Barangay of Quezon City has also endorsed Romualdez’s senatorial bid.
Romualdez, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines and president of the Philippine Constitution Association, finished his undergraduate studies with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1985 and obtained in 1988 a Certificate of Special Studies in Administration and Management from the Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Among his achievements is a law that provides VAT exemption for persons with disabilities for medical and dental services; purchase of medicines in all drugstores; public railways, skyways and bus fare; admission charged by theaters, cinema houses, concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other places of culture, leisure and amusement; and all services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants, and recreation centers.
The law will also allow relatives, up to the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, taking care of handicapped to claim a tax deduction of P25,000 in their income tax.
The law adds funeral services and burial expenses to the list of assistance to be given to persons with disability.