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Lakas-CMD, NUP, NPC reiterate support for Romualdez amid ouster plot rumors

Political parties Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, the National Unity Party (NUP) and the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) on Friday reiterated their support for Speaker Martin Romualdez amid rumors of a supposed plot to oust him.

In a statement, Lakas-CMD co-chairperson Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. said their party, being the country's most dominant political party, continues to be "united and supportive" of President "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. under the stewardship of Romualdez.

Romualdez, Marcos' cousin, is the president of Lakas-CMD.

"Through the darkest of storms and greatest of tribulations, we have proven time and again that our unity will never be torn down," said Revilla.

The NUP, in a separate statement, reiterated its commitment to the supermajority coalition that Romualdez formed. The NUP also vowed that it will continue its close partnership with Romualdez.

"We are witness on how Speaker Romualdez has steered the House in legislating key reform measures included in the 8-Point Socio-Economic Agenda of the Marcos administration," NUP chairperson Ronaldo Puno said.

Meanwhile, former Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, who chairs NPC, said they "remain allied with the President and the leadership of Spkr Martin."

A separate statement from the NPC stated that the successes of the Marcos’ administration is largely due to Romualdez who, it said, "worked closely with the President in realizing the administration's Eight-Point Socio-Economic Agenda."

"We continue and remain committed to be part of Speaker Romualdez’s supermajority coalition in the House of Representatives to better the Philippines’ standing on poverty alleviation and job generation," Deputy Speaker Kristine Singson Ilocos Sur and Rizal Representative Michael John 'Jack' Duavit of NPC said in a joint statement.

The Party-List Foundation, Inc., (PCFI), which is allied with the administration, echoed the above-mentioned parties' support for Romualdez.

PCFI President and House appropriations panel chairperson Zaldy Co said the PCFI remains a staunch partner of the supermajority in addressing issues and concerns of its constituents as part of its legislative functions.

"We laud Speaker Romualdez for his exemplary leadership, which was marked by a compassionate and fair treatment of partly-list organizations that were considered second-class solons in past Congresses," Co said in a statement.

In a statement on Thursday night, Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo denied rumors that she was plotting to oust Romualdez.

Arroyo issued a statement a day after the House of Representatives voted to replace her with Pampanga Representative Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales Jr. as Senior Deputy Speaker.

"When I learned that there were reports that I was suspected of plotting a 'coup' against Speaker Romualdez, I decided I must speak out to clarify my political position," Arroyo, a former Philippine president, said.

"Indeed, some of my actions may have been misconstrued, such as my recent trip with a delegation of Congressmen to Korea for some official meetings," she added.

The NUP congratulated Gonzales for having been elected as senior deputy speaker.

PDP Laban, through its national president Palawan Representative Jose Alvarez, likewise lauded Gonzales' election s senior deputy speaker.

"We consider the move of the House of Representatives to elevate Rep. Gonzales to the second highest position in the chamber as a recognition of our partymates' invaluable contribution to the unprecedented work that the House has accomplished less than a year in our term," Alvarez said in a statement.

PCFI also wished Gonzales well as he takes on his new role as senior deputy speaker.

"As Coalition President, I'm privy as to how Congressman Gonzales worked diligently to help Speaker Martin Romualdez steer the House into approving a record-number of priority bills even before the conclusion of the First Regular Session," Co said.

"I firmly believe that Senior Deputy Speaker Gonzales will remain a steady and reliable ally of Speaker Romualdez in delivering the commitments made by the House in pursuit of the 8-Point Socio-Economic Agenda of the Marcos administration," he added.

Gonzales is PDP Laban's national treasurer.

NPC, for its part, said Gonzales is the best person to aid Romualdez “in galvanizing the multi-partisan support for the country’s recovery from the pandemic and overall economic growth and development." —with Llanesca T. Panti/KBK, GMA Integrated News