Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday described House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez as a “diligent” and “compassionate” public official, making him a very credible vice presidential candidate in the 2022 national elections.
Cayetano, who ran for vice president as President Rodrigo Duterte’s running mate in 2016, said Romualdez is a humble public servant who respects the people he interacts with.
“Hindi po ako nagbabago sa sinabi ko na si Martin Romualdez po ay masarap katrabaho. Very diligent at mabait na tao. Works well and respects [his colleagues] sa short time na nagka-trabaho kami together,” he said at a news conference on his “Sampung Libong Pag-asa” program, in which he distributed P10,000 in financial “ayuda” to over 500 beneficiaries in Batangas.
Romualdez—who Duterte said last week he would support as VP should the lawmaker decide to run for the post—promotes a culture of openness and collaboration in his style of leadership, the former Speaker and ex-Foreign Secretary added.
Cayetano and Romualdez worked together in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress since July 2019 to pass the priority bills of President Duterte, especially measures that helped mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country, including the Bayanihan 1 and 2 laws.
He said Romualdez’s possible bid for the vice presidency deserves support.
“All things being equal, he deserves support, but habang lumalapit [ang filing ng CoC] hindi pa talaga natin alam kung sino ang magta-tandem,” he stressed.
Cayetano believes Romualdez would be focusing first in passing the remaining priority bills of the Duterte administration before thinking on any possible national post.
“Knowing Martin, gusto niya trabaho lang muna, iyun lang kasi nabanggit siya ng ating Pangulo [as VP presidential candidate niya],” he said.
Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo earlier said Romualdez was very much qualified to be the next vice president. (See full story online at manilastandard.net)
She vowed to back Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, should the House leader decide to run for the second highest position of the land.
“I am happy for Martin. Indeed, he is very qualified,” Arroyo noted.
Deputy Majority Leader and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo, the former President’s son, said leaders and members of the once-ruling Lakas-CMD party would definitely close ranks to ensure Romualdez’s victory if he joins the vice presidential race in 2022.
“I am truly elated and grateful for President Rodrigo Duterte’s virtual endorsement of our party president, Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, as vice presidential candidate in the 2022 elections,” the Pampanga lawmaker said.
“If ever Majority Leader Romualdez accepts the challenge, we will assure President Duterte that we in Lakas-CMD will throw in our full support to our party president, not only in his quest to emerge victorious, but also in his obligation to deliver quality services to the Filipino people,” he cited.
Lakas-CMD remains the only political party to have produced two presidents in the post-EDSA era as well as top leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives.
“It has been the subject of a vicious political attack by the past administration as manifested through its incessant vilification campaign hurled towards party personalities during its time in power,” the younger Arroyo said.
“But today, the Party stands tall as ever, the scars of the past administration’s political attack gone. And President Duterte’s virtual endorsement of Congressman Romualdez for the second highest post in the land in next year’s polls, is proof that Lakas-CMD remains to be the foremost breeding ground of quality leaders,” he added.
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