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By Junex Doronio

FIRST, SHE WAS UNCEREMONIOUSLY DEMOTED from Senior Deputy House Speaker to a mere Deputy House Speaker.

Now, the former president of the land and now Pampanga lawmaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo faces possible suspension from the House of Representatives, dominated by political forces loyal to Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez.


Political pundits claimed this might work if the Ombudsman accedes to a request to place Arroyo under preventive suspension based on the complaint claiming that she grossly misused P38 billion worth of public funds off the Malampaya natural gas plant in Palawan during her presidency.

Maharlika NuMedia gathered that on September 28, Department of Energy Undersecretary Petronilo Ilagan who is now connected with the National Association of Energy Consumers for Reforms, Inc. (Nasecore) and Rogelio Reyes of  Boses ng Konsyumer Alliance, Inc. filed a 24-page complaint against the former president and now Pampanga Rep. GMA before the Office of the Ombudsman.

The complainants said the Ombudsman should file 96 counts of malversation and 96 counts of graft against Arroyo for the “whimsical disbursement” of the P38 billion Malampaya fund government revenues off the Camago-Malampaya Reservoir service contract.

They averred that placing Arroyo under preventive suspension would prevent her from suppressing evidence.

The former chief executive is widely known as the political mentor of Vice President Sara Duterte who is expected to run for president in 2028, with Senator Imee Marcos as her running mate.

It may also be recalled that the then-presidential daughter Sara was instrumental in ousting Davao del Norte Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez as Speaker and replacing him with Arroyo.

The House of Representatives is now dominated by politicians loyal to Romualdez who is also reportedly keeping a moist eye on the 2028 presidency.

Some political observers told Maharlika NuMedia that “neutralizing GMA” by booting her out of the lower chamber will somehow enable Romualdez to overtake Sara’s popularity for the 2028 presidential race.


By Liza Soriano

SPEAKER Martin Romualdez expressed optimism regarding the Philippines’ economic outlook, citing a recent meeting with a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that projected a substantial recovery in the second half of the year.

Romualdez emphasized that the IMF’s assessment was reassuring, indicating that the Philippine economy possessed the potential to rebound robustly in the latter half of 2023 and continue to experience accelerated growth in 2024.

This prediction comes against the backdrop of global economic concerns and potential slowdowns in 2023.

“The IMF’s positive forecast not only instills confidence but also underscores the resilience and dedication of our nation’s citizens. It reflects the effectiveness of the sound economic policies and reforms implemented during the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.,” Romualdez stated.

He further urged everyone to draw inspiration from the IMF’s encouraging outlook, emphasizing the importance of redoubling efforts to revitalize the nation’s economy.

The Speaker’s office reported that the IMF team specifically acknowledged the forthcoming national budget for 2024, expected to be approved early, as well as various measures aimed at enhancing the country’s competitiveness in attracting foreign direct investments.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives gave its approval on the third and final reading to the proposed 2024 budget of P5.768 trillion, with pending modifications to be addressed by a select committee.

This budgetary allocation marks a pivotal step toward achieving the economic recovery and growth envisioned by both Speaker Romualdez and the IMF. (ai/mnm)

Image Courtesy of: House of Representative

HOUSE Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Friday called upon the Department of Health (DoH) and local government units (LGUs) to provide assistance to individuals affected by the volcanic smog, known as vog, originating from Taal Volcano.

He emphasized the importance of helping residents in areas surrounding Taal Volcano, such as Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and even Metro Manila, in dealing with this temporary issue.

Speaker Romualdez urged the DoH and LGUs to distribute N95 face masks and other protective gear to those affected.

He mentioned that Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo informed him that the DoH still has an ample supply of N95 face masks acquired during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to shield affected residents from volcanic dust and harmful gases, Speaker Romualdez made this request to the DoH through Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Zaldy Co, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations.

He suggested that if face masks are currently unavailable, residents could consider using makeshift face coverings such as cloth.

The leader of the 311-member House of Representatives also called upon the DoH and LGUs to be prepared for potential respiratory issues that may arise due to volcanic smog in the affected regions. He recommended prepositioning drugs for respiratory ailments in areas where they might be needed.

Reports on Thursday indicated that haze from Taal Volcano’s emissions had spread over Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Metro Manila, leading to the suspension of classes.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and the air monitoring office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) later clarified that the observed smog originated from vehicle emissions rather than from Taal Volcano. Phivolcs noted that Taal’s emissions were drifting west-westward, away from Metro Manila.

Image Courtesy of: House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Facebook)

By Junex Doronio

EXPECTING A SPIKE of the costs of canned goods and other basic foods as a result of the series of oil price hikes, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez is planning to convince food manufacturers to forego their plans to increase prices of their products.

“Nauunawaan naman namin na maging sila ay apektado. But we will appeal to their sense of compassion and ask them if they can find a way to manage until Christmas,” Romualdez stressed.

He added that supermarket associations will also be invited to a dialogue in order to hear their concerns.

“We will attempt to convince them to at least postpone their plans, if there are any, until after Christmas in the spirit of the Yuletide season. Masyadong mabigat sa bulsa ang sabay-sabay na pagtaas ng mga bilihin kasabay ng pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo,” Romualdez said.

The House Speaker also pointed out that the PBBM administration is doing its best to alleviate the situation of the people, “but what we are experiencing is a world crisis.”

Romualdez is a first degree cousin of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr.

“That’s why various agencies are ready to provide assistance because the government also feels the people’s predicaments,” Romualdez further said. (ai/mnm)