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June 20, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 436 views

FORMER Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano described House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez as a diligent and compassionate public official, making him a very credible vice presidential candidate.

This was stressed by Cayetano when asked by a reporter on the declaration of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte that he will back Romualdez should the House leader decides to run for vice president.

Cayetano said Romualdez is also a humble public servant who respects the people he interacts with.

“Hindi po ako nagbabago sa sinabi ko na si Martin Romualdez po ay masarap katrabaho. Very diligent at mabait na tao. Works well and respects [his colleagues] sa short time na nagka-trabaho kami together,” Cayetano told reporters during late Friday afternoon press conference on “Sampung Libong Pag-asa” or the distribution of “10 K Ayuda” to over 500 beneficiaries in Batangas with Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu, adding Romualdez promotes a culture of openness and collaboration in his style of leadership.

Cayetano and Romualdez worked together in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress since July 2019 to pass the priority bills of President Duterte, especially measures that helped mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) in the country, including Bayanihan 1 and 2.

The ex-Speaker said Romualdez’ possible bid for the vice presidency deserves support.

“All things being equal, he deserves support, but habang lumalapit [ang filing ng CoC] hindi pa talaga natin alam kung sino ang magta-tandem,” Cayetano said.

But Cayetano expressed belief that Romualdez will be focussing first in passing the remaining priority bills of the Duterte administration before thinking on any possible national post.

“Knowing Martin, gusto niya trabaho lang muna, iyun lang kasi nabanggit siya ng ating Pangulo [as VP presidential candidate niya],” Cayetano said.

Earlier, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Romualdez is very much qualified to be the next vice president of the country.

Arroyo, a former Speaker, expressed elation on Romualdez’s endorsement of President Duterte as his vice presidential candidate.

She vowed to back Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), should the House leader decides to run for the second highest position of the land.

“I am happy for Martin. Indeed, he is very qualified,” Arroyo said in a statement.

Deputy Majority Leader and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, said leaders and members of the once-ruling Lakas-CMD party will definitely close ranks to ensure Romualdez’s victory if he joins the vice presidential race in 2022.

“I am truly elated and grateful for President Rodrigo Duterte’s virtual endorsement of our party president, Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, as vice presidential candidate in the 2022 elections,” said Mikey Arroyo, son of former President and Speaker Arroyo.

“If ever Majority Leader Romualdez accepts the challenge, we will assure President Duterte that we in Lakas-CMD will throw in our full support to our party president, not only in his quest to emerge victorious, but also in his obligation to deliver quality services to the Filipino people” Arroyo said.

He noted that Lakas-CMD remains the only political party to have produced two presidents in the post-EDSA era as well as top leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives.

“It has been the subject of a vicious political attack by the past administration as manifested through its incessant vilification campaign hurled towards party personalities during its time in power,” Arroyo said.

“But today, the Party stands tall as ever, the scars of the past administration’s political attack gone. And President Duterte’s virtual endorsement of Congressman Romualdez for the second highest post in the land in next year’s polls, is proof that Lakas-CMD remains to be the foremost breeding ground of quality leaders,” he added.