Is this the start of the posturing for the all-important speakership in the House of Representatives?
The National Unity Party (NUP) revealed in a statement Thursday, May 12 its "full support to the speakership of Tacloban City Rep. Martin G. Romualdez in the 19th Congress".
“In a consultation with the NUP members of the House of Representatives it was unanimously agreed to endorse Rep.Romualdez as the Speaker for the coming Congress,” NUP Spokesman Reginald Velasco said in the statement.
"This decision was arrived at in recognition of his exemplary service as majority leader of the 18th Congress and his proven ability as a consensus builder for the different political parties in the House of Representatives," added Velasco.
It should be noted that Romualdez has yet to make any announcement regarding the speakership in the upcoming 19th Congress.
However, pundits and observers might place Romualdez in the short list of three congressmen with a legitimate shot at the speakership.
The other two are Pampanga 2nd district Rep. and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who had previously held the speakership during the tail end of the 17th Congress; and current Speaker Lord Allan Velasco of the lone district of Marinduque. Romualdez and Arroyo are both figureheads of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) party, while Velasco is with the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Romualdez, who recently secured a fresh term a Leyte 1st district congressman, figured in the three-way speakership battle in the 18th Congress along with Marinduque Rep. Velasco and Taguig-Pateros 1st district Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
Romualdez ended up serving as majority leader, while Cayetano and Velasco took turns with the top post in the chamber.
The Leyte solon is the cousin of presumptive president Bongbong Marcos, who the NUP supported in the May 9 elections.
The NUP--one the political parties accredited by the Comelec as a major national political party--is poised to be one of the largest political parties in the 19th Congress.