TACLOBAN City – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday proclaimed Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) President Martin Romualdez the winning congressman in the first congressional district of Leyte.
Atty. Juan Bautista Beato, chairman of the Comelec provincial board of canvassers, declared Romualdez winner after obtaining 157,382 votes.
Romualdez, President of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), won over his rival, Lino Dumas who just garnered 9,621 votes.
“I am honored by the overwhelming support extended to me. Once again, thank you very much,” said Romualdez, a lawyer and former House Independent Bloc Leader of the 16th Congress, who vowed to continue his “malasakit” (compassionate) advocacies in the incoming 18th Congress.
Romualdez, a three-term Leyte congressman, is the husband of Leyte First District Rep. Yedda Marie M. Kittilstvedt-Romualdez, first nominee of Tingog party-list group, which is expected to get one seat.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, chairperson of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), endorsed Romualdez to be the Speaker of the 18th Congress.
Romualdez earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and studied law at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.
He holds a Certificate for Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass, USA.
During his stint as congressman of his district in Leyte, he supported the massive investments in infrastructure that spurred progress and development.
He championed small businesses and industries in his district and the plight of disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors of society, persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens, the sickly and the poor.
One of his benchmark achievements during the 16th Congress was the passage of House Bill (HB) No. 1039, a law exempting persons with disabilities (PWDs) from paying value-added tax on certain goods and services.
This was signed into law on March 23, 2016 and is now known as Republic Act (RA) No. 10754 or an act on expanding the benefits and privileges of people with disabilities.