Party-lists choose ‘next Speaker’

More lawmakers on Tuesday threw their support behind former Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez—who is running again for office in May—as the next speaker of the House.

Party-lists choose ‘next Speaker’
Martin Romualdez
Among them were party-list Reps. Catalina Pizarro of Arts, Business, and Science Professionals (ABS), Mariano Piamonte of A-Teacher, Jesulito Manalo of Angkla, Anthony Bravo of Coop-Natco, and Cecilia Chavez of Butil.

In a statement, the leaders said Romualdez would make a good speaker because he is good at gaining a consensus, and as such, can push President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda forward.

“We have worked with FMR in Congress. He is not only a principled and compassionate leader but a unifying presence who can actively steer [the President’s] legislative agenda for change and development in the country,” their statement read.

Romualdez, both president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats and the Philippine Constitution Association, is running for the Leyte congressional seat to replace his wife, Yedda.

Several lawmakers earlier expressed confidence that Romualdez, whom the President’s daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio declared will be the next speaker, will be able to steer “a more productive and responsive” House under the 18th Congress.

Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice on Sunday supported Romualdez as the next House Speaker in the incoming 18th Congress.

“He has no corruption issue, and that will work to his advantage,” said Erice, a member of the House opposition.

House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said Duterte’s endorsement of Romualdez would mean a more productive and responsive House of Representatives supportive of the President’s legislative agenda.

“We need a competent and honest man like congressman Romualdez. He has good public relations and no derogatory issue. Congress will be very interesting with his leadership. He is good, responsible, very bright and intelligent,” he said.

Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said Romualdez has never been tainted by allegations of corruption and said he was an effective and independent opposition leader when he was last in Congress.

“We should elect a Speaker untainted by corruption,” Atienza said.

Former Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. cited Romualdez’s good record as a constructive critic when he headed the independent bloc in Congress.

“During my speakership, he headed the independent minority group, yet proved to be supportive and helped me in pushing important measures,” he said.

“He is a good and brilliant lawyer who never lost a case. He is also fair and a charming gentleman,” Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano said.

READ: More solons vouch for ‘next Speaker’

READ: Romualdez is next Speaker–Sara​

Topics: Ferdinand Martin Romualdez , Catalina Pizarro , Jesulito Manalo , Rodrigo Duterte
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