Romualdez ‘most qualified’ for speakership — lawmakers

Lawmakers, led by Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos, believe that Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez is the “most qualified” to lead the House of Representatives in the 19th Congress.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (FILE PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

This was after Romualdez was nominated by his nephew, Marcos, while Batangas 6th District Rep. Ralph Recto seconded the nomination.

Romualdez, who served as Majority Leader in the 18th Congress, was the only candidate for the top House post. He was later elected as the new House speaker.

But Marcos maintained that his nomination of Romualdez for the speakership had nothing to do with “familial relations”—with Romualdez being a first cousin of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on his mother’s side—but on the strength of the lawmaker’s qualifications.

Marcos echoed his father’s call for unity during his nomination speech

“With unity at the core of the government as our shared vision for the next six years, the House of Representatives requires – now more than ever – a leader that embodies inclusivity, possesses unquestionable competency, and feels genuinely for the people we are all duty-bound to serve,” he said.

Citing his uncle’s 12 years in the legislative branch, Marcos described Romualdez as a “consensus-builder” who has the “great affection and respect” of his colleagues in Congress.

“We know that it is not an easy feat for a person to listen to and consolidate support from more than 300 elected officials, all of whom are leaders in their own right, yet Representative Romualdez seems to have found this balance,” Marcos added.

READ: Speaker Romualdez embodies spirit of House unity, say solons

The neophyte lawmaker who hailed from the influential and powerful Romualdez and Marcos clans of Leyte and Ilocos region, respectively, noted Romualdez’s role in passing the Bayanihan 1 and 2 bills at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the CREATE Law and measures that amended the Public Service Act and the Foreign Investments Act of 1991.

“To say that he has not worked his way up through various positions in Congress would be a grave injustice to the effort he has put into his role throughout his 12 years as a legislator,” he said.

Recto, who seconded the nomination, added that Romualdez can help “shepherd” laws that will help the country as well as “stop the ones that harm our people.”

“He knows the policies that need to be crafted and the pragmatism to get them passed. I am confident that with him, a constitutionalist, at the helm, he will keep the plenary a hospitable space for all opinions, while keeping the conveyor belt of laws moving,” the Batangas lawmaker said.

He described him as a “workhorse” who was able to ignore the temptation to be a “show horse.”

“While others chase headlines, he searches for good bills instead, and whenever he finds one, he does not loudly annotate a work in progress through tweets, but lets the finished product speak for itself. Well, brilliance has no need for a bullhorn,” Recto said.

Romualdez received the support of major political parties in his bid to become the 24th speaker of the House of Representatives for the 19th Congress.

For many, this designation was a longtime coming because Romualdez was supposed to run for the speakership in 2019 but was asked by former president Rodrigo Duterte to withdraw his candidacy for the term-sharing deal between Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.