By Billy Begas
An apparent showdown between former President and incoming Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and reelected Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has been averted.
On Saturday morning, Arroyo issued a statement that she will support Romualdez for Speaker in the incoming 19th Congress.
“Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and I have been working together for decades in a joint effort to do our best to serve the Filipino people. Since 2010, our partnership involved our service as fellow members of the House of Representatives,” she said in a statement.
“I will be returning to the House on June 30, 2022. I would therefore like to advise the members of the Lakas-CMD that I am throwing my support for Majority Leader Martin Romualdez to be elected as House Speaker in the next Congress. I urge all members of our party to do the same,” she said.
In 2021, Arroyo filed her certificate of candidacy for Congress, which was reported to be an indication of her plan to become a Speaker anew.
Arroyo is the chairperson emeritus of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats while Romualdez is the current president.
Lakas-CMD is currently being chaired by presumptive vice-president Sara Duterte.
Duterte was reportedly behind the ouster of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as Speaker in 2018. Alvarez was replaced by Arroyo.
Today, the Party List Coalition Foundation (PCL) is set to hold a meeting to elect its new sets of officers and discuss the speakership.
A source said that PCL will also be endorsing Romualdez.
Earlier, the National Unity Party (NUP) expressed its support for Romualdez should he run in the speakership race.
Ilocos Norte Rep.-elect Sandro Marcos, the eldest son of presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has also expressed his support to Romualdez, who is his uncle and mentor.