Nacionalista Party (NP) stalwarts paid a courtesy call on House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Romualdez Monday to formalize their support for him to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the next Congress.
Those who called on him in Makati City included reelected Representatives Camille Villar of Las Piñas and Eleandro Jesus Madrona of Romblon; incoming Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, son of presumptive President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.; incoming Iloilo Rep. Ferjenel Biron; and presumptive Sen. Mark Villar.
Villars’ parents are former Senate President Manuel Villar Jr. and Sen. Cynthia Villar, the leaders of the NP, which has a membership of 39 in the House of Representatives.
A torrent of support from members of NP, PDP-Laban, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), National Unity Party (NUP), Liberal Party, Party-list Coalition Foundation, Inc. and independents have sealed the speakership for the representative of Leyte’s first district.
“I want to express my most sincere gratitude to all these political parties and their members. I am humbled and greatly honored by their statements of support and encouragement. I assure them that I will do my best to serve them well,” Romualdez, Lakas-CMD President, said.
In the Senate, outgoing Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the Nationalist People’s Coalition had always had a good relationship with Romualdez.
The NPC, which Sotto chairs, threw its “unconditional support” behind the speakership bid of Romualdez
“Most of our members are good old friends with Martin. As majority leader, he has always been fair with us,” Sotto said.
With the major political groups coming together to support him, Romualdez said the House of Representatives would be on solid ground in promoting the unity agenda of the incoming Marcos administration.
“We will work as one in pursuing this agenda and putting in place measures that would get us out of the COVID-19 pandemic and those that would sustain our nascent economic growth,” Romualdez said.
House legislators have said they see a brighter and more unified 19th Congress under the speakership of Romualdez.
“I have seen first hand the excellence in statesmanship, lawmaking, and governance that incoming Speaker Martin Romualdez has demonstrated. I feel secure for my fellow legislators and my fellow Filipinos knowing that Speaker Romualdez is at the helm of the Lower House,” Assistant Majority Leader and Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas said in a statement.
Vargas, the House Committee on Social Services Chairperson, cited many accomplishments of the 18th Congress such as the timely enactment of the national budget, fast and efficient rollout of the vaccination program, and cash subsidies and social assistance for the pandemic-affected households.
He said Romualdez’ role as the Majority Floor Leader had been instrumental to the institution’s successes.
“We have enacted a significant number of measures to address the immediate concerns of our fellow Filipinos—and we owe a great deal to decisive and capable House leadership. I am confident that the upcoming lower chamber will sustain these efforts to craft more rational policies to steer the Philippines forward,” he said.
“Incoming Speaker Martin Romualdez is not only well-respected by his peers, he is also well-loved across the aisles in Congress,” Vargas added.