By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez has relayed to President Rodrigo Duterte his intention to run for Speaker of the incoming 18th Congress, and has vowed to ensure the passage of the Chief Executive’s legislative agenda.
He stressed that, to properly lead the administration coalition in the Lower Chamber, the House Speaker must share the President’s vision.
“When you aspire for Speaker (of the House), you represent the majority coalition of the administration,” Romualdez, who served as the leader of the so-called House Independent bloc in the 16th Congress, said in a statement.
“If you think you share a common voice (with the President), you must confront the legislative agenda of the administration,” he said.
Davao Mayor Sara Duterte earlier acknowledged Romualdez’s support for the President’s reform agenda.
Romualdez, who declared his intention to vie for the Speakership post two days after the May 13 elections, assured that the concerns and sentiments of the House members will not fall on deaf ears and will be properly addressed.
“A good Speaker is one who listens more than he speaks,” Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) and Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), said.
“Imbes na magdikta, dapat ay makinig at maging responsive at dapat mas consultative and sensitive to parochial concerns. You have to be generous of your time and be the Congressmen’s Congressman,” he pointed out.
Romualdez also cited the crucial role of the members of the party-list bloc in Congress in shepherding the passage of President Duterte’s reform measures.
“The party-list bloc is our partner for change and reforms to carry the speedy passage of President Duterte’s legislative agenda,” he said.
“You have to remember that the party-list group represents many sectors and marginalized sectors, and they represent the sectors that are not left behind. That is why this group is important,” he added.
Romualdez earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and studied law at the University of Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.
He holds a Certificate for Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass, USA.
Davao Mayor Sara Duterte earlier rejected the reconciliation efforts of ousted House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, citing that they were “deceiving and utterly lacked sincerity.”
She also criticized Taguig Representative-elect Alan Peter Cayetano for supposedly threatening to break up “the group” if she endorsed someone else for the House’s top post.