By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
The Nacionalista Party is reportedly torn between two contenders for the Speakership this coming 18th Congress.
Multiple sources told Politiko that a significant number of its members preferred incoming Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez over their own party mate Taguig-Pateros Representative-elect Alan Peter Cayetano to lead the 303-man House of Representatives during the opening of the 18th Congress on July 22.
According to an insider within the party, many members of the 43-man NP contingent in the Lower House are expected to side with Romualdez if the party leadership failed to reach a consensus on the chosen Speaker bet.
These Nacionalista members are supposedly backing Romualdez due to their close attachment with former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., also party member himself. Marcos is a cousin of Romualdez.
Last week, the party’s top honchos reelected Sen. Cynthia Villar and former Senate President Manny Villar hosted a thanksgiving dinner for winning Nacionalista officials inside the Laurel Mansion in Mandaluyong City. The country’s oldest existing political entity however has yet to reach a consensus on who to support in the upcoming Speakership race.
Cayetano’s Speakership bid might allegedly face an uphill battle if he can’t muster support from his own party.
One of the NP members backing Romualdez’s bid is outgoing Cavite Governor and incoming 7th district Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla.
Remulla, a former Deputy Speaker and a senior Nacionalista member is Romualdez’s Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity brod in the University of the Philippines.