Marcos, Romualdez call for unity in House following coup rumors

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Speaker Martin Romualdez stressed the importance of unity after rumors of a leadership coup rocked the House of Representatives in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, the final day of the 19th Congress’ first regular session, Romualdez said unity and cooperation among all political parties are important in achieving the administration’s legislative priorities.

“Pursuant to our shared vision of a strong republic, leaders of major political parties in these august halls have expressed their unwavering commitment to work together for the passage of the pro-people legislative agenda of President Marcos. The unity that we have shown in the performance of duty, and our relentless action in keeping the legislative mill grinding to full efficiency, are now reaping fruits for our beloved institution,” Romualdez said.

In a video message to the House, Marcos thanked the lawmakers for their hard work.

“Remain united, determined, and passionate. Be the voice of the people and fulfill your duties as servant leaders in your respective districts and provinces,” the president said.

Earlier this week, seven political parties signed agreements reaffirming their alliance with Romualdez’s party, Lakas-CMD. This happened on the heels of rumors that former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was planning to unseat Romualdez.

READ: 7 political parties ally with Lakas-CMD

Arroyo denied any involvement in the rumored coup, saying she’s no longer interested in the speakership. In 2018, she teamed up with then-Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to oust Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as Speaker and succeeded him for the top House post.

From the start of the 19th Congress on July 25, 2022 until May 31, 2023, Romualdez said the House approved on third and final reading 33 out of 42 priority measures identified by the Marcos administration.

Three of these bills are now laws. These are Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Registration Act, Republic Act 11935 moving the 2022 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to 2023, and Republic Act 11939 extending the fixed terms of military personnel.

The priority measures awaiting Marcos’ signature are the bill creating the Maharlika Investment Fund and the bill condoning around P57 billion in debt incurred by agrarian reform beneficiaries.