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track record,
two staunch al-
lies of Leyte
elect Martin Romualdez yestbrday trumpeted his
hi+." lthe most @oEpetent in the fotrrthe ;
(PCFI) has narrowed whelming majority of pines (UP). This developed as a
down to Romualdez and their colleagues. One of the lavs congressnan who re-
Velasco the race for the Panganiban said Ro- passed by Romualdez fused to be named for
next Speaker. mualdez "hae the edge in was Republic Act (RA) obvious reason bared
Houee Minority Lead- Salceda said Romual- leadership qualities, expe- l0?54, which exempts PDP-Laban officials and
er and Quezon Rep. Da- dez's knowledge and vast rience, and goodwill more than 1.5 million members failed to agree
nilo "Dann/ Suarez and expenence in the finan- among Housd members" persons with disabilities on their common candi-
Albay Rep. Joey Sarte cial markets and the compared to the other tPWDs) from the pay- date in the speakership
Salceda recognized Ro- field of economics would candidates in ,he speak" ment of l2-percent val- race after a meeting
mualdez's track record help expedite the enact- ership race e'specially if ue added tax IVAT| on Tuesday night at the res-
and admirable persua- ment into laws of Pres- the Palace's f,une not to certain goods and servic- idence of Sen. Manny
sion skills that would ident Duterte's econom- meddle in the speaker- es. Tt was eoacted during Pacquiao in Mal<ati City.
help the incoming 18th ic reform agenda. ship race will continue- the time of forrner Pres- "They failed to agree
Congress to back up 'lReo. Romualdez's de- Romualdez, a banker ident Corazon Aquino. among themselves who
President Rodriso Du- cision io join the speal<- and lawyer by profession, Suarez also said many will be their bet, prompt-
terte s efforts in-pursu- ership derby is a wel- is the president of the members of President ing them to task Sen.
ing structural reforrDs corne development as far Philippine Constitution Duterte's ruling Partido Pacquiao to talk to
needed to guarantee the as the country's econom- Association (Philconsa) Demokratiko Pilipino- ident Duterte and
countrv's economic take- ic managers and busi- and the Lakas-Christian Lakas ng Bayan (PDP' choose who would be
nesa leadets are con- Muslim Democrats Laban) are backing the their common candidate
"He is tlre moat expe- cemed. Rep. Romualdez (cMD). speakership bid of Ro- for Speaker," said the
rienced and competent as Speaker is good for He was the House In- mualdez congressman.
candidate and can hand- the economy," said Sal- dependent Bloc leader of "Marami kasing PDP The PDP-Laban can-
ily win the speakership ceda, who is senior vice- the 16th Congress dur- na pumirma kay Martin didates for Speaker are
race in a free for all fight. chair of the House com-
ing the Aquino adminis- eh. They have signed Velasco, Deputy Speak-
Martin is a very credible mittee on ways and tration. their desire to make er and Pampalga Rep:
leader who hal the re- means. Romualdez holds a Martin v.ith the colatilla Aurelio Gonzales Jr.,
spect of his colleagues. ANAC-IP Perty-List Bachelor of Arts degree na huwag Iang magbibig- and Davao del Norte
HiB commitment to help Rep. Jose Panganiban in Government from the ay ng marching order Rep. Pantaleon "Bebot"
President Duterte, espe- Jr., who chairs the Ivy League school, in ang Palasyo," said Alvarez, who was oust-
cialb in approving yital House committee on ag- Comell University, and a Suarez, referring to the ed as speaker last July.
bills is beyond question," riculture and food, said Certificate of Special manifesto of support oI Sen. Aquilino Pimen-
said Suarez after Puwer- Romualdez has the ex- Studies in Administration more l,han 153 lawmak- l,el TIT, PDP-Laban pres-
sa ng Bayaning Atleta perience and leadership and Management from ers backing the speaker- ident, earlier reportedly
(PBAI partylist Rep. Jer- advanl-age compared to Harvard University. He ship bid of Romualdez on failed to secure a meet-
icho Nograles bared thay the other Speaker-wan- also earned hia Bachelor condition that President ing with Duterte re-
the 54;[rong Partylis] nabes and t'he most ac- of Laws degree from the Duterte will not endorse garding speakership
Coalition Foundalion InJA ceptable to the over- Universiw of the Philip- any candidate. fight. Fqg e 12-