In an announcement that would further seal the deal on the matter of the speakership, Pampanga 2nd district Representative and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has endorsed Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez for the top post in the House of Representatives in the upcoming 19th Congress.
“Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and I have been working together for decades in a joint effort to do our best to serve the Filipino people. Since 2010, our partnership involved our service as fellow members of the House of Representatives,” Arroyo said in a statement on Saturday morning, May 14.
Arroyo and Romualdez are both members of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party. The former is the party’s president emeritus while the latter is the party’s president.
“I will be returning to the House on June 30, 2022. I would therefore like to advise the members of the Lakas-CMD that I am throwing my support for Majority Leader Martin Romualdez to be elected as House Speaker in the next Congress. I urge all members of our party to do the same,” said Arroyo.
The 75-year-old herself served as Speaker during the tailend of the 17th Congress.
At the start of the current 18th Congress, Romualdez emerged as a strong contender for the speakership alongside Taguig-Pateros 1st district Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Romualdez ended up with the majority leader’s post, which he will hold until the end of the 18 Congress on June 2.
Pundits would argue that Arroyo is a contender–if not a shoo-in–for the speakership in the next Congress, but the latter is apparently willing to give the spotlight to Romualdez, who is just as astute a politician.
Romualdez reportedly considers Arroyo as his mentor.
On Thursday night, presumptive president Bongbong Marcos endorsed Romualdez for the speakership during a thanksgiving dinner. Marcos and Romualdez are cousins.
Romualdez has yet to formally address the endorsements, or even make official his bid for the speakership.