House blocs renew support for Marcos, Romualdez following Arroyo demotion

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2023 07:56 PM

Then-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. attends the birthday party of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Quezon City, April 5, 2022. BBM Media Bureau handout/File
Then-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. attends the birthday party of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Quezon City, April 5, 2022. BBM Media Bureau handout/File

MANILA — Various political blocks in the House of Representatives have renewed their support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Speaker Martin Romualdez after the chamber demoted former President and Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from Senior Deputy Speaker to a mere Deputy Speaker.

Among them are former President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP Laban whose national treasurer, Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Dong Gonzales Jr., replaced Arroyo as Senior Deputy Speaker. 

The House approved the twin motions that saw the 2 Pampanga lawmakers switch places before adjourning its session on Wednesday night.

“Our party reiterates its unwavering support for both the President and Speaker Romualdez. Together, they have accomplished much for our country and our people,” Gonzales Jr, said in a statement to media.

“Our Speaker is a valuable ally and helping hand to the President in terms of shepherding the administration’s legislative priorities in Congress,” he said.

Gonzales, Jr. also said PDP-Laban is thankful to the House and Speaker Romualdez for choosing and electing him as senior deputy speaker.

“As in the past, as a loyal member of the majority, I will always support the Speaker and will continue to work for the benefit of my constituents in the 3rd district of Pampanga and of my kabalen in the province,” Gonzales added.

Palawan 2nd District Representative PDP Laban National President Jose C. Alvarez issued similar statements congratulating Gonzales and affirming their commitment to Romualdez's leadership.

"We consider the move of the House of Representatives to elevate Rep. Gonzales to the second highest position in the chamber as a recognition of our partymates’ invaluable contribution to the unprecedented work that the House has accomplished less than a year in our term. We remain firmly committed to the supermajority formed by Speaker Martin Romualdez in the House of Representatives as part of our continuing efforts to help bring about the reforms needed to propel the country to greater heights," Alvarez said in a statement issued to media.

"We continue to work hand-in-hand and in close partnership with Speaker Martin Romualdez, who have mobilized a multi-partisan coalition in the House of Representatives to help President Marcos deliver his commitment to our people. The election of Rep Gonzales show the strong ties and cooperation between the Speaker’s party Lakas CMD and PDP Laban in serving the Filipino people. " Alvarez also said.

"We are in full support of the administration of President Marcos, Jr. and the leadership of Speaker Romualdez as we all vow to ramp up our efforts to boost the economy post-pandemic and to improve the living condition of the Filipino people. We at PDP Laban believe that the priority bills that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is pushing will result in much needed reforms to institutions and industries, and to push socio-economic progress that will benefit more Filipinos," Alvarez added.

The Nacionalista Party of former Senate President Manny and Senator Cynthia Villar also renewed its support for Romualdez.

"The Nacionalista Party expresses its unequivocal support to the leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez of the House of Representatives as we remain fully committed to the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to its vision of a united and prosperous nation," Deputy Speaker and Nacionalista Party Spokesperson Camille Villar said in her own statement to media.

Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace S. Barbers, also of the NP, also congratulated Gonzales and like Villar, reiterated their support for the incumbent Speaker.

"Senior Deputy Speaker Gonzales is one of our reliable and diligent partners in the House of Representatives and a great addition to the working force of our hard-working Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez. We reiterate the party’s strong support to the leadership of Speaker Romualdez who is deeply committed to the well-being and progress of our nation. The party is impressed by Speaker Romualdez’s integrity being a strong and decisive leader with an understanding and compassionate heart for the people. At the same time, we also reiterate our full support to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., whose 8-point Socio-Economic Agenda guides our work as legislators," Barbers said in a statement sent to media.
The House Minority Leader, Rep. Marcelino Libanan, also issued a statement of support for Romualdez.

"We in the minority bloc join colleagues in congratulating Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. on his election as the new Senior Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. Representative Gonzales will be a huge asset to the House leadership in his new capacity. He will be able to work closely with the minority bloc in overseeing the passage of legislative reforms that are needed to sustain the country’s economic recovery and improve the quality of life of every Filipino family. We reiterate our full support to the leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez, who has ably steered the House in delivering unprecedented accomplishments less than a year in our terms. The minority is absolutely committed to our partnership with Speaker Romualdez and the entire House leadership, as we seek common ground to swiftly create more jobs and livelihood opportunities, lift a greater number of households from poverty, and move the country forward," Libanan said in a statement sent to media.

House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe explained in a statement why the 2 lawmakers switched positions.

"The House of Representatives has elected Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales, Jr. as Senior Deputy Speaker to unburden his cabalen, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, of the heavy load required from the position," Dalipe said in a text message issued by his office to reporters.

Arroyo had little to say about the development. 

"It's the prerogative of the House," Arroyo said in the one sentence press release issued by her office.

Arroyo was Speaker of the House in the 17th Congress from 2018-2019 after congressmen voted her to replace then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Arroyo is on her 4th non-consecutive term as district representative after serving as the country's chief executive from 2001-2010.

Arroyo is one of the 71 lawmakers in the House of Representatives belonging to Lakas CMD, which has Speaker Martin Romualdez as its party President.

Arroyo has also been a fixture in President Marcos, Jr's overseas trips.


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