MANILA, Philippines — While there may have been intermittent political intramurals in the House of Representatives, Speaker Martin Romualdez declared that it is important for the chamber to prioritize work toward improving the plight of Filipinos.
“Let us put aside politics first, which is not the right time now, to begin with. If we can focus our time and efforts on providing solutions to problems of ordinary Filipinos, then we all can bounce back from this crisis,” he said.
“We should devote all our resources in solving the real problems of our fellow Filipinos, and dedicate our attention to such,” the House leader said yesterday, vowing to “address low power supply, high electricity rates, telecommunication issues and unstable commodity prices.”
The Speaker said “political destabilization” should be the last of their priorities.
“The House cannot be distracted from finding legislative solutions to issues that affect the lives of ordinary Filipinos. Rather than engaging in politicking, I would rather that we, in the House, remain focused on more urgent matters,” Romualdez stressed.
In the meantime, all power blocs or political parties under the super majority coalition in the House have declared their unwavering support to the leadership of Romualdez.
“We reiterate our firm resolve to help Speaker Romualdez make our batch in the House as one of the most hardworking in the history of Philippine legislation,” Rep. Zaldy Co (Ako Bicol), president of the 54-member strong Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc., said.
“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,” House Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan said.
The Nacionalista Party – to which President Marcos used to belong – also supported Romualdez. “The NP expresses its unequivocal support to the leadership of Speaker Martin of the House as we remain fully committed to the administration of President Marcos to its vision of a united and prosperous nation,” Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar declared.
GMA attends Gonzales oath taking
Former president and now Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo attended yesterday afternoon the swearing-in of her cabalen, Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., who replaced her as senior deputy speaker.
Romualdez presided over the session and administered the oath of office to Gonzales, whom the House leadership promoted to SDS last week, while Arroyo was demoted to deputy speaker.
Prior to the oath-taking, both Gonzales and Romualdez dropped by the table of Arroyo at the plenary hall and paid their respects to the former president by way of making mano or a gesture of respect to someone older.
Gonzales and Arroyo were then seen smiling at the House plenary hall as they walked toward the podium where the Speaker, or whoever is assigned to preside over the session, bangs the gavel. This is also the place where the swearing of office is held.
Arroyo represents the second district of Pampanga while Gonzales hails from third district.
Romualdez sits as president of the now ruling dominant Lakas-CMD party. Arroyo is chairperson emeritus, courtesy of her being the former president.
Senate leadership secure
While there was a buzz about the alleged coup plan against the leadership in the House of Representatives, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri enjoys the confidence of his 23 colleagues in the upper chamber, according to Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Sherwin Gatchalian.
“The leadership of Sen. Migz is very stable,” Estrada said, adding that there were too many issues in the country that need to be addressed, thus senators have no time to interfere in problems with the House leadership.
Gatchalian said the high rating of the Senate showed that the public is satisfied with its performance under the leadership of Zubiri. He also pointed out that the change of positions in the House was just a part of the dynamic in Congress.
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III said that they don’t have time for politics. “I’m not analyzing that (House leadership issue) because we have a lot of agendas in the Senate,” he said. – Cecille Suerte Felipe
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