House return was to repay districts that helped Tacloban after ‘Yolanda’ — Romualdez
MANILA, Philippines – Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez has revealed that his return to Congress was to repay legislative districts who helped his constituents after Super Typhoon Yolanda ravaged Tacloban City in 2013.
In his thanksgiving party held Tuesday night in a hotel in Mandaluyong, Romualdez spoke before around 100 former and incumbent lawmakers who supported his Speaker bid.
“It will be an honor to serve you because some of you may have forgotten, not too many years ago and that was after Yolanda when my district, the hardest hit district was demolished. So many people were dead and hopeless,” Romualdez said.
“And all of you came to help us. And that is why we are back and that is why I’m here, that the remaining years of my public service, I would also like to give back and return the favor to each and every one of you,” he added.
Romualdez is one of the several front-runners to the Speaker post, along with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
However, to end the leadership row at the House of Representatives, President Rodrigo Duterte suggested a term-sharing arrangement where Cayetano would be House Speaker for 15 months, before Velasco takes over for the remaining 21 months.
Romualdez on the other hand, had accepted Duterte’s proposal that he take on the role of the Majority Floor Leader. He also vowed to dedicate his work to people who helped them, in any capacity in the House leadership.
“If it were working as a Speaker, as a House leader, as Majority Leader, in any capacity, I really want to dedicate my last years in public service working for you, by you, for what you have done for us,” he said.
“You would have known where we came from, to be completely down and out on point of despair and of seeming hopelessness as quickly and as powerful was the storm, so was your help, your compassion,” he added.
After Yolanda struck the eastern side of the country, mainly Eastern Visayas in November 2013, more than 7,000 people were found dead with thousands went missing. Yolanda —regarded as the strongest-ever to make landfall — left villages destroyed with more than 16 million people in 44 provinces affected. /muf
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