Minority reps split about shielding Romualdez | Inquirer News

Minority solons split about defending Romualdez, House in spat with Senate

/ 11:50 PM February 05, 2024

PHOTO: House plenary hall with House logo superimposed STORY: Minority solons split about defending Romualdez, House in spat with Senate

Party leaders in the House of Representatives are refusing to give their reaction to a call for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to resign. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Several lawmakers from the Minority bloc of the House of Representatives have issued different views regarding a resolution defending Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and the chamber after its verbal spat with the Senate over constitutional amendments.

During the deliberation of House Resolution (HR) No. 1562 at the plenary on Monday, Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. — a minority lawmaker who is part of the Liberal Party (LP) — took notice of the economic problems besetting the administration.


But Bordado — whose LP has been a known critic of the Marcoses — praised President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s policies as it translated to better figures for the country.


“Just the other day, the Philippine Statistics Authority unraveled a rather unnerving report: that the Philippine government missed its economic growth target for 2023 because of the debilitating effects of inflation, among other things. The economic growth rate was recorded at 5.6% year-on-year in 2023, a bit too far from the 7.6% increase in 2022 and a tad lower than the targeted expansion of at least 6%,” Bordado said.

“Yet, the 5.6% growth rate for 2023, brought about, according to experts, by investment, services, and consumption, was good enough for the Philippines to overtake Vietnam and Malaysia, making it the fastest-growing economy in the entire Southeast Asian region. I, therefore, commend the Marcos administration for achieving this feat—mounting problems and difficulties notwithstanding,” he added.

He also expressed support for Romualdez, saying that the Speaker has exhibited exemplary leadership skills even when he was Majority Leader of the 18th Congress.

“As for the leadership issue in the House, Speaker Martin Romualdez has consistently demonstrated his exemplary leadership capabilities since assuming the post of Majority Leader in the 18th  Congress,” Bordado said.

“Even as a member of the Minority bloc, I am, therefore, expressing my absolute and categorical support for House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez,” he added.

Meanwhile, Makabayan bloc lawmakers maintained that Charter change — the focal point of discussions and barbs between senators and House members — has never been timely.


All three Makabayan lawmakers — ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel — abstained from voting when the resolution was up for adoption.

“We have been consistent in Gabriela Women’s Party in our stance on No to Charter Change in any form especially now  during the Marcos Administration.  We opposed the so called People’s initiative and we voted against the RBH 6,” Brosas said in her manifestation.

“Lugmok na lugmok ang kalagayan ngayon ng ating bansa – mababang sahod, kawalan ng trabaho, at napakataas na presyo ng mga bilihin at pampublikong serbisyo.  Ang lumalalang krisis sa bansa ang dapat na pagtuunan ng pansin ng House of Representatives at ng Senate at hindi ang pagkakaroon ng pagtatalo tungkol sa pagbabago ng Konstitusyon o Charter change,” she added.

(The country’s economy is in a slump — low salaries, lack of jobs, and high prices of goods and services.  The worsening crisis in the country should be the focus of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and not the dispute regarding constitutional amendments or Charter change.)

Castro echoed Brosas’ sentiments, saying that there are several things that Congress must prioritize.

“Napakaraming mga bagay na dapat unahin ng Kongreso  […] Dagdag pa rito, tapos na ang SSL V (Salary Standardization Law Tranche 5) at sa kabila ng barya-baryang omento sa sahod sa iilang mga rehiyon, hindi pa rin pinag-uusapan ang salary increase ng mga manggagawa.  Ito ang hinihintay ng ating mga kababayan hindi ang pagbabago ng konstitusyon,” Castro noted.

(There are many things needing priority from Congress […] In addition to this, the SSL V (Salary Standardization Law Tranche 5) is finished but despite at the low increases in wages, we are still not talking about the salary hike of workers.  This is what the people are waiting for, not constitutional amendments.)

Earlier, the House adopted the resolution via viva voce or voice voting.  According to the office of Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, 288 lawmakers have signed the said resolution.

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

The resolution seeks to defend the Speaker from the Senate’s criticisms — including claims that Romualdez was allegedly behind the People’s Initiative (PI).  Romualdez denied this several times, saying that he only met with PI proponents to facilitate, and not orchestrate the push to amend the 1987 Constitution.

READ: Romualdez just ‘facilitator’ of people’s initiative, not its ‘orchestrator’ 

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

TAGS: charter change, Congress, House, Senate, speaker

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