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Thursday, April 25, 2024

House is ‘in order’—Speaker

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Says destabilization must be ‘nipped in the bud’

File photo shows Speaker Martin Romualdez presiding over a plenary session of the House of Representatives in March.

Speaker Martin Romualdez on Sunday assured the public that the “House of the People is in order” as he underscored the need to “nip in the bud” destabilization plots that might distract lawmakers from passing key legislative measures.

“There is still much work to do, so occasional moves to destabilize the House should be nipped in the bud,” Romualdez said in a statement on Sunday after a reorganization at the Lower House that saw the replacement of former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo as senior deputy speaker.

Arroyo earlier acknowledged that she “learned that there were reports that I was suspected of plotting a ‘coup’ against Speaker Romualdez.” She flatly denied the allegation, adding that her interest in the Speakership when President Marcos won is no longer part of her political objectives.

At least seven political blocs in the House – Lakas-CMD, the National Unity Party (NUP), the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), the Party-List Foundation Inc., (PCFI), PDP-Laban, the Nacionalista Party (NP), and the minority bloc – have all expressed support to the leadership of Romualdez.

“We are witnesses to how Speaker Romualdez has steered the House in legislating key reform measures included in the 8-Point Socio-Economic Agenda of the Marcos administration,” NUP chairperson Ronaldo Puno said.

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“Through the darkest of storms and greatest of tribulations, we have proven time and again that our unity will never be torn down,” said Lakas-CMD co-chairperson Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. said.

Romualdez, for his part, said Congress cannot be distracted from finding legislative solutions to issues that affect the lives of ordinary Filipinos.

“I would rather that we, in the House of Representatives, remain focused on more urgent matters. The Uniteam, which the House Leadership has always been a part of, must continue to focus on finding immediate solutions to problems of ordinary Filipinos. The House chooses to focus on addressing low power supply, high electricity rates, telco issues and unstable commodity prices, instead of political destabilization,” he said.

House Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto, for his part, said he is confident that what he described as “political tampuhan” shall pass.

“This is a tempest in a teacup that will not wash away a strong alliance between close partners who share a common vision of a prosperous and peaceful country,” he said.

“The fog of miscommunication will soon clear, the vow of cooperation will be renewed and attempts to drive a wedge between them shall have failed,” Recto added.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday shrugged off insinuations that there is more to the movement at the House other than being “just a run of the mill” reorganization.

“I think we should be careful to not read too much into it,” he said in an interview.

“I really see it as just a run of the mill that comes once in a while… If you’re in government long enough, you have seen many of these. In my time as congressman, I had two terms as congressman, I think it’s the third time we’ve been like this and this is just part of reorganization.”

“The Speaker, it’s his prerogative as to how he feels the House should be reorganized. I don’t think not any of us know what it all means, where the chips will fall after all of this reorganization,” the President added.

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