Said he enjoys support from colleagues
BY: JOEY A. GABIETA
TACLOBAN CITY- Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin ‘FM’ Romualdez is confident that there is a big chance that he could clinch the hotly-contested race for the next Speaker of the House of Representatives once Congress opens this month.
Romualdez, who took his oath of office together with his wife, Tingog party-list representative, Yedda Marie Romualdez before city village chairman Cyril Malinao last Friday(June 29) at the family-owned Price Mansion this city, said that he has the ‘numbers and support’ of his colleagues.
“God willing and when the congressmen manifest their support, we hope to be there,” he said during an interview, referring to the Speakership post vacated by former President and outgoing Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Romualdez also welcomed the decision of the President not to intervene on the selection of the new Speaker saying it’s ‘very good.’
“That’s very, very good. Whenever the President decides on a policy, we know that he is doing it for the right reason. We not only respect it but we welcome it,” the Leyte solon said.
He, however, said that though the President has issued such statement, he will still respects if the Chief Executive will eventually exercise his prerogative to choose his ‘anointed one.’
During his oath-taking, Rep. Romualdez expressed his gratitude to the people of the first district, particularly his supporters, for giving him another term.
“If you did not support me, I will not be here. It’s an honor and privilege to serve you. I will never get tired of serving you,” he said.
The solon also said that if in case, there will be a ‘higher calling,’ he will be ‘humbled.’
He was referring to his possibly getting elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
During the gathering, Rep. Romualdez was repeatedly addressed as ‘Speaker’ by the host and his supporters.
Meantime, Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso(3rd district), said that he hopes that Rep. Romualdez will get the post as this could prove to be useful not only for Leyte but the entire Eastern Visayas.
He, however, said that it is still the President who will have the final say as to who will be the next Speaker of the Lower House though he made a statement that he would not interfere on the selection.
“I want Martin to become the next Speaker for the good of Region 8. But who will be ‘crowned’ by the President will get the Speakership. I am taking his statement with a grain of salt when he said that he will not interfere on the issue,” Veloso said.
He also said that Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte will also play a vital role in the selection of the new Speaker.
Veloso cited former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who was ousted reportedly with the orchestration of the presidential daughter.
“She just sneezed and Alvarez was ousted,” he said.
For his part, An Waray party-list Rep. Florencio Noel said that whoever will be supported by Rep. Paolo Duterte, son of the President, he will also support.
“I will vote who among he will endorse (as the next Speaker),” Noel said.