LEYTE Rep. Martin Romualdez is the most logical choice of congressmen for Speaker of the 18th Congress, according to leaders of three powerful blocs in the House of Representatives.
“All aspirants for Speakership deserve the position but for majority of the congressmen, Cong. Martin is the most logical choice for the top House post,” said reelected Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, who was Majority Leader of the 17th Congress and president of the National Unity Party (NUP), during a recent news forum.
“Not only is he a kindred spirit to his colleagues in Congress, Cong. Martin is also well-respected due to his vast experience in public and private sector governance. Based on results of the latest survey, he is also the choice of our constituents in the legislative districts,” said Castro.
Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor of the 54-strong Party-list Coalition Foundation, Inc. (PCFI) said Romualdez has already secured the approval of more than 160 congressmen who signed the manifesto of support for the Leyte solon’s speakership bid.
“Whoever is chosen by the majority is the winner in any election. That is simple logic. Cong. Martin has the numbers. It is but logical that the choice of the majority should be the one to sit as Speaker in the 18th Congress,” said Defensor, a veteran legislator and former Presidential Chief of Staff, during the Pandesal News Forum last Thursday.
Another former Presidential Chief of Staff, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, a stalwart of the PDP-Laban, said Romualdez trumps the other speakership aspirants in terms of credentials as well as experience in governance and legislation.
“An Ivy League graduate in Government from Cornell University and special studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines, an experienced banker and economist who also served three terms in the House of Representatives, Cong. Martin is primus inter pares material in Congress,” Salceda said.
Castro noted that in a recent survey conducted by the RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. (RPMDinc), Romualdez was the preferred choice for Speaker with 30 percent, followed by Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano with 23 percent. The third spot went to former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez with 18 percent. Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco garnered 14 percent.
The nationwide survey showed that Romualdez was the top choice in the Visayas, balance Luzon and Mindanao regions. In the National Capital Region, Cayetano ranked first with 33 percent, followed by Romualdez with 27 percent, Alvarez with 15 percent and Velasco in the last spot with 12 percent.
In balance Luzon, Romualdez was the top pick with 31 percent, followed by Cayetano with 25 percent, Alvarez with 18 percent and Velasco, 11 percent.
In the Visayas, Romualdez received strong support with 35 percent, followed by Cayetano with 21 percent, Velasco with 19 percent and Alvarez, 16 percent.
In Mindanao, Romualdez and Alvarez were statistically tied. Romualdez ranked first with 23 percent while Alvarez had 20 percent. Cayetano, with 15 percent, was tied with Velasco who garnered 14 percent.
“Not only is Cong. Martin the congressmen’s choice for Speaker, he is also the people’s choice,” Castro pointed out.
Defensor said there is even a chance that President Duterte would change his hands-off policy on the speakership race and support Romualdez once the Chief Executive validates the manifesto signed by more than 160 congressmen in support of the Leyte solon.
“Right now, the President is sticking to his position not to interfere in the speakership race,” Defensor said.
“But I believe that he will eventually change his position and endorse Cong. Martin as Speaker once he sees the final tally in the manifesto of support (for Romualdez),” he added.
Salceda said the majority of congressmen agree that Romualdez is the perfect partner in the legislative department who could help President Duterte sustain the country’s economic growth until the end of the current administration.
“If the President wants to achieve his goals for the country, it is important to have legislative support of the supermajority in the lower chamber. The lower chamber needs a leader who will push for the economic measures of the administration,” said Salceda.
“Rep. Martin Romualdez as a Speaker is good for the economy, as well as the economic and business leaders concerned,” he added.Publication Source : People's Journal