Marcos Jr. camp mum on cousin Romualdez's speakership

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2022 10:22 PM

MANILA - The spokesperson of incoming President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday declined to comment on the impending speakership of the House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the cousin of the presumptive chief executive.

"We are still in the 18th Congress... I think we are not yet in the position to be making any comment on that since it will be presumptuous to join the fray," said Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' spokesperson and head of his transition team.

"It is a legislative matter and we respect the independence of a co-equal branch of government," he said.

Talk of Romualdez becoming of next House speaker in the 19th Congress began last week after former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo told members of her Lakas-CMD Party to back the Taclobanon lawmaker in the next Congress.

This was not the first time Arroyo endorsed Romualdez for Speaker. In 2019, Arroyo marshaled her forces to help Romualdez gather signatures for his speakership bid, signaling he was her political heir. 

However, President Rodrigo Duterte opted to make Romualdez House Majority Leader even after he showed up with 179 signatures for his speakership, as the chief executive brokered the term-sharing agreement between incumbent Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Arroyo's statement in favor of Romualdez was followed by the endorsement of incumbent House Speaker Velasco, who said that the current House majority leader has his "support and friendship."

Romualdez is a first cousin of Marcos Jr., and - like the presumptive president - was named after the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos Jr.'s son - incoming Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos - previously worked in Romualdez's office as political officer.

- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News