House defends Romualdez amid Senate's 'intense assault'

House OKs resolution defending Romualdez vs Senate’s ‘intense assault’

/ 04:20 PM February 05, 2024

House OKs resolution defending Romualdez amid Senate's 'intense assault'

The House of Representatives adopts on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, a resolution defending Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (center) and the “integrity and honor” of the chamber amid its so-called “intense assault” from the Senate. (Photo from House of Representatives)

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has adopted a resolution defending Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and the “integrity and honor” of the chamber amid its so-called “intense assault” from the Senate.

House Resolution (HR) No. 1562 was adopted via viva voce or voice voting during a plenary session on Monday. The office of Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe said 286 lawmakers have signed the resolution.


According to HR No. 1562, “while taking criticisms is part and parcel of a healthy and working democracy, the House takes exception to the recent statements and allegations made by the Senate” which, it noted, erodes the independence of the House.


“The confrontational tactics used by the Senate are detrimental to the spirit of cooperative governance and the public’s confidence in parliamentary processes,” HR No. 1562 states.

“In the face of these unfounded indictments, the Speaker has taken the cudgel in shepherding the Members in steadfastly defending the integrity and honor of the House of Representatives by strictly discerning and observing mutual deference to a co-equal legislative body,” it also says.

Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. said the House must react to the Senate’s alleged violation of inter-parliamentary courtesy after attacks against Romualdez over allegations that the House leadership is behind the people’s initiative (PI) to amend the 1987 Constitution.

“Today, I stand before you with a heart full of resolve, and a voice echoing the collective sentiment of this august chamber, in the midst of the Senate’s accusations and confrontational stance.  We affirm our unwavering solidarity and support to the leadership of the Honorable Speaker, Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, and uphold the integrity and honor of the House,” Gonzales said.

“[…] Recent events have cast a dark shadow over the decorum and mutual respect that should define the relationship between our co-equal legislative bodies.  The unfounded allegations hurled by some members of the senate on the issues surrounding the people’s initiative are direct violation of inter-parliamentary courtesy and undermine the independence and integrity of the House of Representatives,” he added.

Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte, who represents the National Unity Party (NUP) in the House, shared the same sentiments, saying the resolution shows the chamber’s longing to maintain the autonomy of the House.


“I address this august body to voice our steadfast support for the resolution that stands as a bulwark against the recent actions of the Senate against its co-equal legislative chamber in our country.  This resolution symbolizes our unwavering commitment to uphold the sanctity and autonomy of the House of Representatives,” Villafuerte said.

Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, who is part of the Nacionalista Party, said the House only wanted to ease economic restrictions in the country by amending the 1987 Constitution, but was targeted instead with “unfounded allegations.”

“The House of Representatives, under the guidance of Speaker Romualdez, has taken steps to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution, fostering a more investor-friendly and globally competitive Philippines. This initiative, embodied in Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, reflects our dedication to national progress,” he said.

“Yet, in the pursuit of these commendable goals, the House has faced malicious, imagined and baseless accusations from some hallucinating and paranoid members of the Senate. Unfounded allegations of fraudulent initiatives and misuse of government resources have cast a shadow over the support extended by individual congressmen to the People’s Initiative,” he added.

Aside from Gonzales, Villafuerte, and Barbers, the following lawmakers made manifestations in support of HR No. 1562:

  • Palawan 2nd District Rep. Jose Alvarez (PDP-Laban)
  • San Jose del Monte Rep. Florida Robes (Partido Federal)
  • TGP party-list Rep. Jose Teves Jr. (Party-list Coalition)
  • Pangasinan 2nd District Rep. Mark Cojuangco
  • North Cotabato 3rd District Rep. Ma. Alana Samantha Santos (Lakas-CMD)
  • Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. (Liberal Party)

Last Feb. 1, after a House party leaders’ caucus, Gonzales and Dalipe said a huge number of lawmakers would file a resolution to defend Romualdez from the alleged attacks stemming from discussions about Charter change.

Several Senate and House members have been at odds recently over constitutional amendments. On January 23, all 24 senators signed a manifesto against the PI as it supposedly seeks to abolish the Senate.

The PI, which launched a signature campaign in support of Charter change, includes adherence to joint voting of the Senate and House on proposed amendments. Such a scheme would allow 300 House lawmakers to overpower the vote of 24 senators.

Some senators, including Romualdez’s cousin, Sen. Imee Marcos, claimed that the speaker and the rest of the House leadership were behind the PI.

Romualdez, however, has denied the claims several times although a resource person during a Senate hearing on the PI admitted to having coordinated with the Speaker regarding their effort.

People’s Initiative for Reform Modernization and Action (Pirma) official Noel Oñate told senators that he met with Romualdez and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co regarding the PI proposal. Romualdez later clarified that he was only a facilitator and not an initiator of the Charter change move.

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House lawmakers maintained that the PI was a result of the Senate’s supposed inaction on Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, which seeks amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

TAGS: House of Representatives, Martin Romualdez, People's Initiative, Senate

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