A supermajority supporting House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez as Speaker in the next Congress is shaping up in the House of Representatives.
Ex-Batangas congressman Mark Llandro Mendoza, Nationalist People’s Coalition secretary general; Rizal Rep. Jack Duavit, and Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga on Sunday presented to Romualdez the party’s manifesto of endorsement for his speakership of the 19th Congress during a luncheon meeting in Makati City.
Party chairman and Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Romualdez should be the next speaker, after a meeting of their members.
“As chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and in consultation with our HOR (House of Representatives) leaders, I hereby announce the unconditional support of the party to the speakership of Congressman Martin Romualdez in the 19th Congress,” Sotto said.
Romualdez is the president of the Lakas-CMD where former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the chairman emeritus.
The NPC said Romualdez, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats president, “will definitely bring the House of Representatives to new and greater heights under a common goal of unity toward economic and moral recovery, social justice and the rule of law.”
“We, the members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition party of the 19th Congress of the Philippines, express our full support to Honorable Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, Representative of the 1st District of Leyte, as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives,” the NPC said.
On Saturday, there was an avalanche of support for Romualdez coming from members of the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc., independents, PDP-Laban, Nacionalista Party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, Liberal Party and Lakas-CMD.
Another group of supporters is led by incoming Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, son of the presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is composed of neophyte congressmen.
The 34-member-strong National Unity Party was the first group to announce its endorsement of the incumbent majority leader for the speakership.
The outgoing administration party PDP-Laban counts on 62 lawmaker-members. NP has 39, Lakas-CMD 29, and LP, 9.
Dinagat Island Rep. Alan Ecleo and other Lakas members from Dinagat Islands also back Romualdez as House Speaker.
Ex-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, returning representative of Pampanga’s second district, announced her support for Romualdez, and urged her Lakas-CMD party mates to do the same.
Romualdez thanked the NPC for its endorsement to replace outgoing Speaker Lord Alan Velasco.
“The latest declaration of support from the 39-man contingent of the NPC highlights the desire of our newly -elected and re-elected congressmen to heed the call for unity of our incoming President Bongbong Marcos,” he added.
With NPC’s declaration of support, the new administration has now a clear supermajority in the House of Representatives, which is crucial in pushing for legislative measures needed to move the country forward, he said
Camarines Sur Rep. Lray Villafuerte said he sees a smooth transition from the leadership of outgoing Speaker Lord Alan Velasco to Romualdez.
He said the assumption of the speakership of Romualdez has become a “fait accompli” with his endorsement by ex-President and ex-Speaker Gloria Arroyo.
A senior member of Congress from Mindanao has endorsed Romualdez as well.
“We are all for Congressman Romualdez to be the next Speaker,” Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said in a statement on Sunday.
“Congressman Romualdez is highly competent. His track record as House majority leader speaks for itself,” Pimentel, chairman of the House strategic intelligence committee, said.
“There’s no question that Congressman Romualdez has the necessary ability, knowledge and skill to lead the House,” Pimentel said.