2028 presidential bid? Elections not the answer to hunger, says Romualdez | Inquirer News

2028 presidential bid? Elections not the answer to hunger, says Romualdez

/ 05:48 PM November 17, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The problems of the country that the administration is trying to address are preventing officials from even thinking about the 2028 presidential elections, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Friday.

Romualdez said this in a statement in response to former President Rodrigo Duterte who said on a Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) program that the Speaker is positioning himself for the presidential race.

Romualdez explained that while he is grateful for Duterte’s engagement, he and the House choose to focus on the problem at hand.


“I am grateful for the former President’s engagement with the political discourse, and I understand the curiosity surrounding the 2028 elections. However, I believe it is important to focus on the present challenges facing our nation. We are currently dealing with significant economic, public health, and regional issues that demand our immediate attention,” Romualdez said.


“Marami pang problema ang mga Pilipino na kailangang bigyan ng solusyon. Hindi eleksyon ang sagot sa sikmurang gutom,” he added.

According to Romualdez, he has tried to go beyond political lines in pursuit of bills that would be attuned to the legislative agenda of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration and address the myriad of problems in the country.

“As Speaker of the House of Representatives, my priority is to promote unity and collaboration across all political lines. This is a time to put aside rumors and speculations about future elections and concentrate on what we can achieve together for the betterment of our country and the welfare of the Filipino people,” he said.

“Regarding my personal political aspirations, I am currently committed to my role as Speaker and serving the needs of our nation. My focus is on the present responsibilities and not on future electoral possibilities,” he added.

In SMNI’s Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa on Wednesday, Duterte claimed that Romualdez went against his daughter Vice President Sara Duterte because the Speaker thought Sara would be his opponent in the 2028 presidential race.

Duterte was referring to the House’s decision to remove confidential funds requested by the Vice President for 2024 — P500 million for the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and P150 million for the Department of Education (DepEd).


READ: How House removed, reduced the confidential funds of gov’t agencies

“Pero ngayon, itong si Romualdez is posturing to be a candidate for president.  Ngayon akala niya ang kalaban niya si Inday (Sara), because si Inday ‘yong Vice President, naturally, she might want to go for the presidency,” the former President said.

(Now, this Romualdez is posturing to be a candidate for president.  He thought he would be fighting against Inday Sara, because she is the Vice President, naturally, she might want to go for the presidency.)

“Ito namang Romualdez — kasi sila ‘yong [in] power, pinsan niya si Marcos — they want to consolidate so kinuha niya lahat, pati lahat [ng] congressman, lahat ng mga PDP, wala nang naiwan nagpunta na do’n,” he added.

(Then Romualdez — because they are in power, he’s Marcos’ cousin — they want to consolidate so they got all of the politicians, even all of the congressmen, all PDP members, they have jumped ship.)

PDP-Laban is the political party of former President Duterte.  Last November 6, former party member and Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. resigned from PDP-Laban, eventually transferring to Romualdez’ Lakas-CMD.

Duterte also previously accused the House of being the ‘most rotten government organization’, saying that it is riddled with corruption.  He clarified, however, that he is basing his knowledge of corruption in the House using his own experience, saying that he is not specifically referring to Romualdez.

“Ngayon, if you feel alluded to, natamaan ka, eh pasensya ka, wala namang nagsasalita against sa inyo, naglipatan na kayong lahat,” he added.

(Now, if you feel alluded to, if you were hurt, I hope you won’t mind because nobody has been talking against you, everybody has moved to your party.)

Nevertheless, Romualdez said he acknowledges the contributions made by the former President, saying that he hopes Duterte can still lend the country his opinions.

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“I also wish to acknowledge the valuable contributions of our former president, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and hope he continues to lend his support and expertise. His continued involvement is crucial as we strive to overcome the challenges we face. Our collective efforts are vital for the progress and prosperity of the Philippines,” Romualdez noted.

TAGS: Duterte, Elections, Romualdez

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