Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez has proven himself to be a true gentleman and a statesman when he attended a news forum in Manila recently to declare that he is officially throwing his hat into the House Speakership ring.
On several occasions, he was asked to comment about reports that presidential daughter, reelected Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio had taken back her previous endorsement of him as the next House Speaker.
Without mincing words and a relaxed, smiling face, Rep. Romualdez would repeat the same kind words for Mayor Sara each time. He said he always respects and honors Sara’s word and despite some questions that tended to elicit a negative reaction from him, he never did utter a single negative remark about Sara.
‘Whatever she says, we respect and honor. Sabi niya, ayaw niya maisama dito,’ he in fact said in defense of Mayor Sara.
Rep. Romualdez went on to say that when Mayor Sara was in Leyte and she mentioned his name as the next House Speaker, all he felt was honor and elation.
‘Napasama ako, so natuwa ako at nagpapasalamat. Siguro nakita din ni Mayor Sara ‘yung mga suporta natin sa programs of the administration. With the mere mention of my name, I am very humbled,’ he said, adding that he is also supportive of the Duterte administration because it was able to do for only three months what the previous government failed to do, as he also cited the ‘unlimited’ support being given by Davao to the province of Leyte.
In the same forum, Rep. Romualdez also expressed his admiration for former House Speaker Feliciano ‘Sonny’ Belmonte, Jr.who, as fourth district Representative of Quezon City., was Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from January to June 2001 and again from 2010 to 2016. Before that, he served as the Mayor of Quezon City from 2001 to 2010, where he was hailed ‘Most Outstanding City Mayor of the Philippines’.
‘Mahal na mahal ko.. very fatherly…a very good listener’ was how Romualdez described Belmonte, whom he said reached out to everyone during his rein ‘kahit kontra partido’ and the way work was equitably distributed then and how others were given the opportunity to learn.
Along this line, Rep. Romualdez said that the term ‘speaker’ is actually a misnomer because for him, it involves and requires more of listening, being responsive and dynamic and engaging all members of Congress without exception. A House Speaker must be ‘sensitive and consultative,’ he says.
A brilliant, very humble (not to mention very handsome) lawyer—well he is the president of the Philippine Constitution Association (PhilConSa) and was former President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines— a former banker and a philanthropist to boot, Rep. Romualdez wittily said that for him, the ‘speakership’ is more of ‘listenership,’ as he vowed to lend an ear to his colleagues’ needs and desires once he becomes House Speaker.
‘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 said. Clearly, no one deserves said post better.
On another note, Rep. Romualdez stated his plan to follow on the provision of special education for persons with disabilities (PWDs) which is included in the law he previously authored.
He also bared plans to work on having a more concrete Cancer Center or Cancer Institute and help further strengthen measures that are already in place with regard to the two said issues.
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