Romualdez says House 'in order,' shuns 'moves to destabilize'

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2023 03:25 PM

Pampanga Rep. and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (left) and House Speaker Martin Romualdez. ABS-CBN News/file
Pampanga Rep. and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (left) and House Speaker Martin Romualdez. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — The House of Representatives remains "in order," Speaker Martin Romualdez said Sunday, amid concerns of "destabilization" from an alleged coup attempt to oust him from the speakership following the demotion of Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

"The House of the People is in order," Romualdez said in a statement, adding that the lower house would rather focus on "finding immediate solutions to problems of ordinary Filipinos" rather than "engaging in politicking." 

"There is still much work to do, so occasional moves to destabilize the House should be nipped in the bud," he added.

"The House chooses to focus on addressing low power supply, high electricity rates, telco issues, and unstable commodity prices, instead of political destabilization."

Romualdez also called on his fellow lawmakers to set aside politics and maintain "the same level of order," which he said allowed the House to approve "at least 29 of the 42 bills that comprise the legislative agenda" of his cousin, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

"These include measures condoning the debts of our agrarian reform beneficiaries, creation of specialty centers in the provinces similar to the Lung and Heart Centers in Metro Manila, and the Magna Carta bills that seek to protect the rights and promote the welfare of barangay health workers and seafarers," the speaker added.

Last week, Arroyo denied she had plans to oust Romualdez from the speakership after she was demoted from senior deputy speaker to deputy speaker. 

While Arroyo did admit that she wanted to be House Speaker after Marcos Jr. won the presidency last year, she said she later realized that Marcos was "comfortable" with Romualdez at the helm. 

"When I learned that there were reports that I was suspected of plotting a 'coup' against Speaker Romualdez, I decided I must speak out to clarify my political position. Indeed, some of my actions may have been misconstrued, such as my recent trip with a delegation of Congressmen to Korea for some official meetings," she said.

She also claimed that she no longer had interest in the speakership again, a position she once held during the 17th Congress from 2018 to 2019.

"This has been my position ever since Speaker Romaldez was elected in the 19th Congress, and I continue to urge my Lakas-CMD partymates to support our party President in that role," she said.

The House of Representatives earlier moved to effectively make Arroyo switch with Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales Jr. as senior deputy speaker, citing the burden of the position.

Marcos Jr. himself urged the public "not to read too much" into Arroyo's demotion, saying it was only part of the House's reorganization. 

"This is just part of reorganization and the Speaker's prerogative as to how he feels the House should be organized," Marcos told reporters" on Friday. 


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