Sara Duterte says Martin Romualdez is 'next Speaker'

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2019 09:07 PM

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and former Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Tuesday said former Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez will be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, making the Leyte politician the latest addition to the list of aspiring lawmakers who might jockey for the influential post.

“Si Congressman Martin Romualdez ang susunod na Speaker of the House (Congressman Martin Romualdez is the next House Speaker),” Duterte said on stage at the campaign sortie of administration coalition Hugpong ng Pagbabago in Tacloban City, Leyte.

Romualdez is a nephew of former first lady Imelda Marcos. He mounted a Senate bid in 2016 but only placed 15th. He is running for Leyte first district representative in the upcoming polls.

Duterte-Carpio earlier said Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco would be the next Speaker. She is also allied with former foreign affairs chief Alan Peter Cayetano, who is also gunning for the speakership.

Asked to clarify her endorsement of Romualdez, Duterte-Carpio told reporters: “We also support Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano because he is also interested na maging Speaker. Lahat naman iyan hindi pa sigurado kasi wala pang election. The best time to talk about that is after the elections. Sila ang mga narinig naming people interested to help.”

(We also support Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano because he is also interested to become a Speaker. Not all is certain because the elections have yet to take place. The best time to talk about that is after the elections. They are the ones we heard who are interested to help.)

Duterte-Carpio was instrumental in the unceremonious ouster as Speaker of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, who belongs to PDP-Laban, the political party chaired by the Davao mayor's father President Rodrigo Duterte.

Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo replaced Alvarez following a coup known to have been led by the President’s daughter.

PDP-Laban is also eyeing 8 possible individuals as its nominees for the next Speaker.