Romualdez: Why does Duterte slam Cha-cha but favor federalism?
As former leader now opposes constitutional amendments

Romualdez: Why does ex-president Duterte slam Cha-cha but favor federalism?

/ 10:06 AM January 29, 2024

Romualdez: Why does ex-president Duterte slam Cha-cha but favor federalism?

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and former president Rodrigo Duterte (PHOTO: House of Representatives/WEBSITE; REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is confused about why former president Rodrigo Duterte opposed Charter change or constitutional amendments when he was a strong proponent of shifting the Philippines into a federalist state.

In a statement on Monday, Romualdez suspects that Duterte may have misled Filipinos by banked his presidential campaign on federalism because he and some of his key allies are now against constitutional reforms.


Romualdez and House officials are pushing for amendments to the 1987 Constitution, with the House saying that they are open to reviewing People’s Initiative (PI) proposals. Duterte, however, on Sunday said that if he returns to power, he will have PI initiators arrested for supposedly coercing people into signing the signature campaign.


“Baka binubudol-budol lang tayo nun. Kasi sabi nya, ‘yan ang basehan kung bakit sya naging presidente. Wala naman siyang ginawa na maayos,” Romualdez said, referring to a scheme where criminals confuse their victims.

(Maybe he was just trying to fool us.  Because he said this was the basis of why he became president. He didnlt do anyting good.)

“Sinabi rin nya, ‘di ba, pinag-usapan kanina drugs na bigyan daw siya ng tatlong buwan. Eh anim na taon eh andami-daming drugs pa rin. Yung nangyari, andami nilang pinatay,” he added.

(He also said that about the discussions on drugs, he said give me three months.  But he was in power for six years but drugs are still prevalent.  What happened was a lot of people were killed,)

READ: I’ll order arrest of PI movers of Cha-cha if I regain power – Rodrigo Duterte 

The Speaker advised Duterte instead to think twice about making such statements because he might not be aware that his administration had a lot of shortcomings.

“Kaya mag-isip-isip na lang muna sya. They are saying those who are in the glass houses should not cast stones. Baka hindi nya alam, marami syang kakulangan, di ba?” Romualdez asked.


(That’s why he should think hard first.  They are saying those who are in the glass houses should not cast stones.  He might not know, but he had a lot of shortcomings, right?)

Romualdez further accused Duterte of doing an about-face for someone whose presidential campaign promised a change in government.

“Unang-una, baka nahirapan naman talaga si President Duterte kasi ‘yung plataporma kaya nanalo sya ay federalismo. Hindi lang ‘yang amendment ng economic provisions, ‘yan yung pagbabago nung  buong sistema ng government,” Romualdez said.

(President Duterte may have encountered difficulty because the reason why he won is because his platform was really centered on federalism.  Not just the amendment of economic provisions, but a change in the entire system of the government.)

“Mukhang hindi nya nakayanan eh. Ngayon na may naglulunsad na magandang move for charter amendments, baka nakikita nya na ‘yung hindi n’ya nagawa ay magagawa. Baka mangyari na ngayon kaya sinisiraan nya,” he added.

(It seems like they failed to reach that goal.  Now that there is a movement pushing for charter amendments, he might have seen that what he was not able to do will be fulfilled.  Maybe he is contradicting this now.)

Romualdez, a cousin of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., was one of the crucial characters to the Uniteam, the 2022 elections tandem of the Chief Executive and Duterte’s daughter, current Vice President Sara Duterte.

In 2023, there were speculations that the honeymoon period for the Uniteam had waned off after Vice President Duterte claimed that Romualdez — her campaign manager — was not a significant factor in her decision to run for higher office.

Vice President Duterte said this after the House-led Romualdez demoted Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from senior deputy speaker to deputy speaker.

Then, during the budget season, the House ultimately decided to strip the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) — offices headed by Duterte — its confidential fund (CF) requests.

OVP asked for a P500 million CF for 2024, while DepEd wanted a P150 million CF. Both agencies’ secret funds were among the P1.23 billion CFs slashed by Congress.

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On Sunday, after months of speculation of a rift, ex-president Duterte’s son and Davao Mayor Sebastian Duterte asked President Marcos to resign if he has no aspirations for the country.

TAGS: Martin Romualdez, Rodrigo Duterte

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