Romualdez congratulates Duterte children

Rodrigo Duterte & Martin Romualdez
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte (3rd left) flashes his trademark closed fist sign together with, from left, Davao (1st Dist) Rep. Paolo Duterte, Speakership candidate and Leyte (1st Dist) Rep. Martin Romualdez, former Secretary Harry Roque, Mrs. Elizabeth Zimmerman, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte after the oathtaking of Vice Mayor Baste, Mayor Sara and Rep. Paolo Friday at the Session Hall of Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Davao City. (Story on p.2) Photo by Ver Noveno

SPEAKERSHIP candidate and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez congratulated the children of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and other newly-elected officials of Davao City who took their oath of office last Friday.

Romualdez, upon the invitation of Mayor Sara, graced the event held at the plenary hall of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Building in Davao City where President Duterte delivered his congratulatory speech.

“Congratulations to the newly elected officials of Davao City! I sincerely wish everyone—especially Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Vice-Mayor Sebastian ‘Baste’ Duterte, and first district Rep. Paolo ‘Pulong’ Duterte —continued success, wisdom, and discernment in order to serve their city and its people well,” said Romualdez, a lawyer and banker by profession.

“I am honored to witness and celebrate with you during your oath-taking. With everyone’s impeccable credentials in public service, alam kong magpapatuloy ang #malasakit niyo sa Davao while ensuring its continued progress. Again, congratulations on your well-deserved win!” Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), added.

Sara and Pulong both had landslide victories while Baste ran unopposed in his first government post.

Some other notable officials who took their oath included Marino party-list Representative-elect Carlo Lisandro Gonzalez, Davao City Rep. Vincent Garcia, and Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab.

The administering officers were Judge Jill Rose Jaugan-Lo and Judge Rufino Ferraris.

Sara urged all elected officials to work hand in hand to reach their dreams of becoming the best performing region in the country.

During the oath-taking event, well-placed sources said President Duterte called Romualdez “Speaker” again several times in front of Senator-elect Bong Go, former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, businessman Sammy Uy and Carlos “Charlie” Gonzales.

Last Wednesday, President Duterte and Romualdez made a joint visit to the Philippine Army 8th Infantry Division at Camp General Vicente Lukban in Catbalogan City, Samar to award nine wounded soldiers in a military hospital there and consult about soldiers’ concerns.

On Thursday, Romualdez held separate meetings with Sara and Pulong in Davao City before the Thursday’s oath-taking.

In the Samar joint visit, sources said President Duterte called Romualdez as Mr. Speaker several times in front of government and military officials led by Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana and presidential adviser for the Visayas Michael Dino.

Earlier, President Duterte asked Romualdez to join him in a surprise visit to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), where the Chief Executive pushed for the decongestion of the country’s premier airport. Sources said President Duterte also called him Mr. Speaker.

After seeing soldiers’ condition recuperating in the hospital in Samar’s military camp, Romualdez said the 18th Congress should consider as top priority the allocation of more budget for military personnel who are leading the fight against terrorists and extremists.

President Duterte earlier announced the government is committed to pouring in P500 million for the medical assistance of troops in the battlefield.

He also assured that immediate families of the wounded soldiers would also be taken care off.

Acting on President Duterte’s instructions, Romualdez, a former House Independent Bloc Leader during the previous 16th Congress, also appealed for multi-partisan congressional support in securing additional funding for the rehabilitation and upgrade of all vital airports in the country.