Romualdez will be the next House speaker; ‘It’s his time’, says solon

It is finally time for Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez to claim the House speakership, a position he relinquished in 2019 in the name of unity and camaraderie among congressmen of the previous administration.

Presumptive House Speaker Martin Romualdez (FILE PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. expressed confidence that Romualdez will finally take the House speakership in the July 25 opening session of the 19th Congress.

Gonzales said that majority of congressmen will elect Romualdez as the new Speaker, stressing that “the time has now come for him to be our leader.”

“He has the full support of our party, PDP-Laban, and almost all political groups in the House led by his own Lakas-CMD, which he heads as president,” he said in a statement sent to media on Sunday, July 24.

Gonzales, the former deputy speaker, added that Romualdez deserves to lead the House, noting that “forbearance and the capacity for self-sacrifice are his virtues.”

“He was in the running for the speakership in 2019 but settled for the position of majority leader to promote camaraderie and unity in the House. He politely and patiently waited for his time to become Speaker while doing his job well,” he said.

The lawmaker pointed out that Romualdez has improved his skills as a politician and parliamentarian through years of experience.

“Those skills will come in handy as our new Speaker shepherds the House in support of the legislative and unity agenda of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.,” he added.

READ: How big is 'supermajority' in House under a Romualdez speakership?

Gonzales also described the Leyte lawmaker as a “consensus builder, who always listens to the concerns of his colleagues, his constituents and the people.”

On its first day of session, the House is expected to vote for its other officers, including some deputy speakers and committee chairmen, and the chamber’s secretary general and sergeant-at-arms apart from the speakership.

President Marcos will deliver his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday which marks the House’s opening session.

He said Reginald Velasco, who served as deputy secretary general and spokesman of National Unity Party, would most likely be elected as House secretary general.

If it pushes through, Velasco will replace outgoing Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza.

Earlier, Lakas-CMD, through its chairman emeritus former president and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Arroyo, and the National Unity Party (NUP), with Velasco as spokesman, endorsed Romualdez’ speakership.

Lakas-CMD, whose members include Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte, passed a resolution to back the Leyte representative citing the need “to set aside politics and work together for economic recovery brought on by the pandemic.”

READ: First Bongbong, now Sara endorsing Martin's bid for House Speaker

Romualdez was supposed to run for the speakership in 2019 but former president Duterte asked him to withdraw from the race and brokered a term-sharing deal between Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

Other political parties backing Romualdez are Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Nacionalista Party, Liberal Party, Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc., Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, and Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).