Romualdez doesn't consider Sara Duterte as opposition just yet

Romualdez doesn’t consider Sara Duterte as opposition just yet

/ 01:25 PM June 24, 2024

Romualdez won't consider Sara Duterte as opposition just yet

This file photo shows then-House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and then-Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is not considering Vice President Sara Duterte as part of the opposition just yet.

For now, Romualdez said, he would be waiting for the Vice President’s official pronouncement that she is indeed now part of the political opposition.


In a press briefing on Monday, The House’s top leader was asked about former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s statements about Duterte’s resignation as Education secretary, which supposedly could pave the way for her to become an opposition leader.


Romualdez pointed out that such a pronouncement was only Roque’s statements.

“Well I guess that’s Mr. Harry Roque’s statements, but then I guess we’ll just have to hear it from the VP, if and when the time comes for her to make statements or to make any policy or statements on policies of the national government,” he said.

Concerning Duterte’s decision to leave President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s Cabinet, Romualdez said he respects the Vice President’s choice.

READ: Romualdez on VP Sara Duterte: I miss her

He also reiterated that he misses their interactions, as he served as Duterte’s campaign manager when she ran for vice president in the 2022 elections.


“Due to our respective roles in the executive, we in the legislative, our interactions are limited, it was only about the previous budget hearings and obviously, we miss the closer interactions that we had during the campaign,” Romualdez said.

“But nonetheless, there’s some politics and there’s some personal and we only wish the Vice President nothing but the best, and we wish her the best of luck in all endeavors and in her service to the Filipino people,” he added.

On June 19, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) announced that Duterte resigned as a member of the Marcos Cabinet, Education chief, and vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Lodcal Communist Armed Conflict.

Duterte eventually held a press briefing at the DepEd office to confirm her resignation.

Later, Roque said Duterte now establishes herself as the leader of the political opposition.

However, opposition personalities and groups such as the Makabayan bloc questioned Roque’s declaration, as well as Duterte’s qualification to be called an opposition leader. The Makabayan bloc asked if Duterte embodies the traits of a true opposition leader – that is, being pro-human rights and anti-corruption.

Political analysts have speculated that Duterte’s resignation from the Marcos Cabinet signals the formal breakup of the Uniteam, the tandem of President Marcos and Vice President Duterte.

Doubts have been raised regarding Uniteam since Duterte resigned from political party Lakas-CMD, which is headed by Romualdez.

According to Liberal Party president and Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, the resignation of Duterte as Cabinet member of the Marcos administration is linked to the removal of Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as House senior deputy speaker.

During deliberations for the 2024 national budget, the confidential fund request of the Department of Education (DepEd) and Office of the Vice President (OVP) were subjected to scrutiny and eventually were removed by Congress.

READ: VP Duterte on relationship with Romualdez: Why attack admin allies?

DepEd and OVP, both under Duterte at the time, requested for a confidential fund of P150 million and P500 million, respectively. These funds were ultimately allocated to government agencies protecting the West Philippine Sea.

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After the removal of the secret funds, Duterte’s father, former president Rodrigo Duterte, criticized the Marcos administration. In several instances, the older Duterte accused President Marcos of using illegal drugs and attempting to amend the 1987 Constitution to extend term limits.

But Marcos clapped back, “I think it’s the fentanyl” speaking, even noting his predecessor’s dependence on the analgesic drug which must be “affect[ing]” him by now.

TAGS: Martin Romualdez, Sara Duterte

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