MANILA Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Wednesday said he respects Hugpong ng Pagbabago's (HNP) endorsement of Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab for the speakership.
We respect HNP's endorsement of its speakership candidate. However, we will await the President's final say on the matter, Romualdez said in a statement.
The Leyte lawmaker, who is one of the leading aspirants for the House leadership post, though reminded everyone of President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier pronouncements that he will not endorse anyone for the speakership.
In fact, the President told us, the speakership candidates, that he would not meddle in the race and assured us also that he will not secretly pass on any order to support a candidate, Romualdez said.
Earlier, the HNP endorsed the speakership bid of Ungab amid a tight race in the House leadership post.
The post is being hotly contested by Romualdez, PDP-Laban bet Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
The race seemed to have become tighter after Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte announced Tuesday that he might vie for the position if only to unite a divided House.
This despite earlier statements from President Rodrigo Duterte that he would resign if son Paolo seeks the speakership.
Hugpong noted that the President, out of delicadeza, will not accept the intent of Congressman Paolo Duterte, to resolve the conflict among candidates. In endorsing Ungab, Hugpong pointed out that the four-term congressman is the only lawmaker to hold the Chairmanships of both Ways and Means and Appropriations Committees.
In light of the endorsement, the HNP suggested that the other aspirants should just take key leadership positions in the chamber.
We suggest that Cong. Alan Peter Cayetano take the Majority Leader position, Cong. Lord Alan Velasco to take the appropriations committee, and Cong. Martin Romualdez to head the accounts committee, the HNP said.
We earnestly hope that everyone can see the light in this option and move forward with urgency in serving our country, it added.
Following the endorsement, Ungab said he is abiding by the decision of HNP.
In a statement, the four-term congressman and the only lawmaker to hold the chairmanships of both ways and means and appropriations committees said HNP is ready and open to work with everyone.
HNP hopes that everyone will aim for and work towards unity and cooperation in order to establish a strong and efficient House," he said.
I reiterate my commitment to support the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte, ensure further economic growth, lower poverty incidence and to help create more opportunities for all Filipinos," Ungab said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency