Romualdez says ‘keeping options open’ on 2022 run

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Romualdez says âkeeping options openâ on 2022 run
Undated file photo shows House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said Thursday that he is “keeping [his] options open” for a possible bid in the 2022 elections after President Rodrigo Duterte assured to support him should he run for vice president.

“For sure, the president’s warm support and words of encouragement will weigh heavily on whatever decision I have to make in October 2021,” the Leyte lawmaker said, referring to the filing of certificates of candidacy.

Romualdez assured Duterte that he will seek his guidance on whatever decision he may make for the 2022 polls.

For now, Romualdez said, he is focused on shepherding Duterte’s priority bills through the House.

“We still have a lot to do in the House of Representatives. We still have a lot of laws that we should pass to improve the condition of our fellow Filipinos during the pandemic,” he said in Filipino.

Duterte on Wednesday openly flirted with the idea of running for vice president, calling it a “good idea,” but quickly followed this up with a promise of support for Romualdez should he gun for the second-highest post in the country.

He said he would not run for vice president if Romualdez does, as he had promised in 2019 that he would back the House leader’s vice presidential bid in the next elections.

Romualdez is the president of the Philippine Constitution Association and of the once powerful Lakas – Christian Muslim Democrats, which now has 32 members in the House.

He is a nephew of graft convict and former first lady Imelda Marcos and the first cousin of Sen. Imee Marcos.

He mounted a senatorial bid in 2016, but failed to clinch a seat in the upper chamber. — with a report from Delon Porcalla/The STAR



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