NPC officially for Romualdez in Speaker race

The Nationalist People’s Coalition has formalized its support for the speakership bid of Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez for the incoming 19th Congress.

UNQUALIFIED SUPPORT. Nationalist People’s Coalition chairman and Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III gives a thumbs up sign as he declares full support to House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives in the upcoming 19th Congress during a fellowship dinner over the weekend. Ver Noveno

Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats and leading speakership contender, took part in NPC’s fellowship dinner hosted by secretary general Mark Llandro Mendoza and Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga last Saturday night at the Makati Diamond Residences.

“With the authority given to me, I hereby declare that the NPC in the House of Representatives will support the speakership of Martin Romualdez. I mentioned it before, but tonight [Saturday] we make it official,” NPC chairman and Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.

“We assure you that this party has always been there, strong, will remain strong and under the leadership of the new Speaker Martin Romualdez, I’m sure that we will have a very good 19th Congress in the House of Representatives,” Sotto added.

NPC stalwart and Rizal Rep. Jack Duavit said the party is a solid partner of Romualdez in pursuing the legislative agenda of the incoming administration.

“We just like you [Romualdez] to know that we are not just going to be your partners, we are always your friends. You can count on our support because we know that your cousin and yourself are out to rebuild this nation and we want to be a part of that and we want to be a part of that success,” he said, referring to presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Senator-elect Francis Escudero also assured Romualdez that NPC would be his steady partner in the next Congress.

Romualdez, for his part, thanked Sotto for the reiteration of support.

“As you know I have always admired you from a far because at the Lower House, we would always watch what you would do, a true leader, a consensus-builder. You have steered the Senate through troubled waters and you always navigated [in the right direction]. That’s why we admire you and the party, the NPC that you symbolize and represent,” Romualdez said.

“We are very inspired and we are very elated that you would like to be part of the nation-building with President-elect Bongbong Marcos. It will be very important to hit the ground running so to speak.”

“We will have a great partnership with the Senate and of course in consonance with the legislative agenda of the [incoming] administration. I am sure that at the heels of this pandemic, we will be on the road to recovery not just health wise, but economically, that’s what we look forward to,” Romualdez added.

Earlier, former President and returning Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo and incumbent Speaker Lord Allan Velasco conveyed their support for Romualdez.

Velasco thanked Romualdez, whom he described as “a steady partner and ally,” for helping him shepherd the House in the outgoing 18th Congress.

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