So, this incurable election syndrome goes on long after the proclamation of the winners. It just doesn’t end with the lifting of the polls liquor ban and the gun ban.
Now that Senator Tito Sotto is certain to stay on as Senate President, the race for the Speakership of the House of Representatives looms as the inception of the 18th Congress nears.
Although there are five congressmen whose names were floated or who have made known their intention to run for House Speaker, some of those in the know say the race is actually down to two choices.
The ranks of congressmen-elect, as well as the heart of kingmaker Mayor Inday Sara, are torn between Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco.
My source inside Congress, however, said should Presidential son and Davao City 3rd District Congressman Paolo Duterte decide to join the race for speakership, all aspirants for the plum position in the lower house will definitely give way to him.
I am not a political pundit but an ordinary onlooker. I’m tickled by Velasco’s credentials.
However, what I gathered is that returning congressman Romualdez certainly has a greater advantage. The clear edge owes to his impressive education, work experience, track record and credibility.
Romualdez brings to the table his well-rounded education: Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in New York, Bachelor of Laws in the University of the Philippines, Diliman, and post-graduate studies on administration and management at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. USA
Known as a workaholic as a businessman, and then as a lawmaker, Romualdez earned the admiration of his colleagues for his dedication and hands-on approach to his job duties and responsibilities. Inevitably, the three-term Leyte Representative, who headed the House Independent Bloc in the 16th Congress, is said to have gained the support of more than the “absolute majority” of 150 congressmen in his Speakership aspiration.
As a charismatic consensus-builder, he commands respect and cooperation of his fellow lawmakers, a most vital quality of the Speaker of the House of Representatives that I believe would enhance the role of Congress in the check and balance of power, not necessarily adversarial.
Just as he showed during the agonizing days of typhoon Yolanda's devastation of Eastern Visayas, particularly Tacloban City, he knows when to set aside politics when bayanihan
are most needed.
And as president of the Lakas-Christian-Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) and as president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), Romualdez offers the complete and ideal package for leadership that will stand for the best interests of the Filipino people.
He vows to advance and maintain the momentum for President Duterte’s agenda of economic development and social justice at this time of change. He will also push the initiative for the shift to the federal system of government that will spur inclusive economic growth that shall equitably benefit the majority of the people.
I personally believe that this proud son of Eastern Visayas, Rep. Romualdez deserves to be the Speaker of the 1aCWQgress as much as a revitalized Filipino nation deserves an able leader with a passion for public service, a true sense of malasakit.