Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez has accepted to be the next House Majority Leader following President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement on the House leadership issue, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said Tuesday.
The lawmaker issued the statement to media following a meeting with Romualdez and 72 of his supporters in a hotel in Ortigas, Pasig City.
“We unanimously agreed to follow the wish of the President on the Speakership, and Martin is accepting the position of Majority Leader… no ifs or buts, no except or unless,” Salceda said.
In a speech during the oath-taking of newly appointed officials in Malacañang Monday, Duterte announced that Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is his bet for Speaker, a position he will share with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Meanwhile, Romualdez would be the Majority Leader.
Salceda said the lawmakers have asked the incoming Majority Leader to develop robust and dynamic relations with the new Speaker.
“With the new leadership, the House of Representatives is now ready to deliver efficiently and effectively the national agenda, contribute inputs to the agenda and mobilize national consensus and public support to the Duterte program that would sustain the economic takeoff of the Philippines and spread its fruits leaving no one behind,” he said.
“We express our full confidence in the ability of Speaker Cayetano as co-pilot of the President in our journey to shared prosperity,” Salceda said.
The party-list bloc also accept Duterte’s pronouncement
Meanwhile, the 54-strong Partylist Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCFI) has also accepted President Duterte’s endorsement of Cayetano as Speaker.
1-Pacman Rep. Michael Romero said the coalition is accepting Duterte’s endorsement because “it is the sentiment of the President.”
“Our pronouncement is we will listen and adhere to the President’s wishes that we go with Alan Peter Cayetano,” the PCFI president said in an interview following a separate meeting of their group also in Ortigas.
The lawmaker added that the PCFI will also honor President Duterte’s pronouncement on term-sharing.
“We will support the President’s pronouncement yesterday ….and we will support both Alan Peter and Lord Velasco,” Romero said.
Earlier, the coalition maintained that it would vote as a bloc, and narrowed down its choice for Speaker between Velasco and Romualdez.
Its members, however, clarified that they would adhere to the President’s endorsement for the position.
The same condition was also given by the 167 House members, who initially signed a manifesto of support for the Speakership bid of Romualdez.
Salceda said the majority of them has pledged their support for the Leyte lawmaker “provided” that the President would not endorse anyone for the position.
House members will formally elect the next Speaker in the morning of July 22, hours before President Duterte will deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address. (PNA)
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