President Rodrigo Duterte will support Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez should the latter run for vice president in 2022 elections, Malacañang confirmed on Friday.
In a text message to reporters, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Chief Executive would support Romualdez’ vice presidential bid “if he decides to run.”
According to the Palace official, talks of Romualdez’ possible vice presidential bid came unexpectedly.
“It came out of the blue, while we were chatting with him [Romualdez],” Panelo told Rappler.
Romualdez, who has been seen accompanying the President in his official and private activities, has been chosen by Duterte to be the next majority floor leader of the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, Panelo said Duterte’s endorsement of Romualdez’ supposed vice presidential bid was not a consolation for not endorsing him for Speaker.
“Nope. The chat was before the suggestion of the term-sharing,” he said.
In recent days, the Chief Executive announced that Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano would share a term with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as leaders of the lower chamber.
In the Senate, Senator Richard J. Gordon branded as “clear compromise” the term-sharing for the Speakership at the House of Representatives as declared by Duterte.
He clarified that his statement was not intended to attack the congressmen but a call to protect the Constitution.
Congressmen, Gordon said, should not have involved the President in deciding who would be the next House Speaker. He said House members should have and keep their independence as an institution.
“Why did they force the President to interfere? Whoever won there would follow the President. That’s classic compromise,” said Gordon.
“Maybe they just want inner peace within their institution that’s why they let the President decide,” he added.
He said the separation of powers should be respected so that there would be a system of checks and balances.
The three branches of the government, which are the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial, Gordon pointed out should not meddle with each other’s roles.
“If I were a congressman, I would never ask the President to do that. But I would be very happy to see the term-sharing succeed later,” said Gordon.
The announcement about the term-sharing came during the oathtaking ceremony of newly appointed officials in Malacañang on July 8.
With this arrangement, Cayetano will serve 15 months of the 18th Congress, while Velasco will serve the remaining 21 months.
Meanwhile, Romualdez will be the House majority leader.
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