MANILA - Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez has the support of 126 lawmakers for the House Speakership, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said Thursday.
In a statement, Suarez said they have gathered the signatures of at least 126 lawmakers supporting Romualdez out of more than 150 votes needed to get the majority.
Romualdez, nephew of former first lady Imelda Marcos, meanwhile urged his fellow lawmakers to respect Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s decision to stay neutral in the Speakership contest.
Duterte-Carpio earlier said she was not the right person to endorse the next Speaker.
She had been instrumental in the ouster of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as Speaker in July.
"I only have a personal bet but do not intend to influence Congress. It is best if the newly elected members of the House of Representatives individually decide who among those who are interested to become the next Speaker can truly bring good governance and positive change to Congress, to the Filipino people, and to our country," she said.
The Davao City mayor also denied endorsing Romualdez as the next House leader.
In March, Duterte-Carpio said Romualdez will be the next House Speaker at a campaign sortie of her party-list Hugpong ng Pagbabago in Tacloban City, Leyte.
Other lawmakers who have expressed interest in the Speakership are Taguig-Pateros Representative-elect Alan Peter Cayetano, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.