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CITING his

track record,
two staunch al-
lies of Leyte
Representative-
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 P.es-
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-