Speakers' speaker: Alvarez, Velasco, GMA pick Romualdez for House top post

What do Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, and Davao del Norte 1st district Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez all have in common?

Speaker Martin Romualdez (Facebook)

They are all former House Speakers, and on Monday, July 25, picked the same person during the speakership vote for the fledgling 19th Congress.

That person was Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).

A total of 283 House members voted in favor of a Romualdez speakership, drowning out the lone negative voter, four abstainers, and 22 non-voters. This made the Leyteño the 24th Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Alvarez, of Partido Reporma, was speaker during most of the 17th Congress. Arroyo, president emeritus of Lakas-CMD, finished the 17th Congress in the House as its speaker.

Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) stalwart Velasco was the head honcho in the chamber for the latter part of the 18th Congress.

Alvarez and Velasco entered their vote in person at the House plenary, while Arroyo participated via Zoom. The former president had contracted Covid-19 prior to Monday's session.

In his first speech as speaker, Romualdez humbly asked his House colleagues to support him,, saying there's nothing they can't do if they're united.