House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez on Thursday did not rule out a vice presidential bid in next year’s polls as he expressed gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for choosing him for the position.
“I thank President Duterte for his trust and confidence in me to hold the second-highest position in the land. I am deeply honored that he considers me, a congressman from the Eastern Visayas worthy to serve as the country’s next Vice President. For this, I will be eternally grateful to the President,” Romualdez, chairman of the House Committee on Rules, said.
“Currently, I am keeping my options open with regard to the 2022 elections. For sure, the President’s warm support and words of encouragement will weigh heavily on whatever decision I have to make in October 2021.”
“Let me assure the President that I will seek his guidance in the pursuit of this decision,” Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, added.
At the same time, Romualdez said at a news conference via Zoom that he was focused at the moment on pieces of legislation on “how we can be a more efficient House of the People.”
“We would want to finish up the 18th Congress strong,” Romualdez told reporters covering the House.
The President earlier said he would give way and support Romualdez should the lawmaker decide to run for the vice presidency.
As House Majority Leader, Romualdez assured that he would remain “focused on steering the approval of vital legislative measures that the President wishes to be passed before his term ends next year.”
“We have many things to do in the House, there are many bills we need to pass to lighten the lives of our countrymen during the pandemic,” Romualdez said.
The President said he promised Romualdez his support as early as last year at the height of the speakership tussle at the House of Representatives.
The fight then for the Speakership was between Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
“So this was my deal with him [Romualdez]: ‘Do not bother with that (speakership) and in the next election, which is just around the corner, if you run for vice president, I will support you.’ And I will hold on to that commitment,” the President said.
In a related development, Lakas-CMD chairman, Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., expressed the party’s gratitude to the President for expressing his support to Romualdez should the latter decide to run for vice president.
“Martin is more than capable. He is highly qualified for the demands of the position,” Revilla said in a statement.
“Martin is a consensus builder. Instead of dwelling on problems, he makes sure he is a part of the solution and sways everyone to do the same,” Revilla added.
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