MANILA - Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Monday urged his fellow lawmakers to "vote in accordance with their conscience" for the House Speakership post.
Romualdez issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not meddle in the contest.
"I appeal to my fellow aspirants for Speakership to take the lead from the President and allow congressmen to vote in accordance with their conscience," Romualdez said.
The lawmaker urged his colleagues not to vote according to party affiliation, and called for a "multi-party coalition which is geared towards swift approval of the President’s legislative agenda."
"A unified Congress, after all, is what the President needs to help him realize his vision of stability and growth for our country," he said.
In a private meeting with Duterte last week, Romualdez assured the speedy passage of the President's priority bills, especially the 2020 national budget which he said lawmakers would approve by October.
Aside from Romualdez, Taguig Pateros Representative-Elect Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco are also vying for the Speakership.