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Claim: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. removed House Speaker Martin Romualdez from office following the latest push for charter change among members of Congress.
Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in several videos alleging Romualdez’s removal as House speaker.
A video from YouTube channel TAONG KALYE, posted on January 18, bore a thumbnail with the text: “PBBM napuno na kay Tambaloslos, Gloria ipapalit na Speaker, hindi nagustuhan ang galaw ni Martin (PBBM is fed up with Tambaloslos, Gloria will be next Speaker. He didn’t like Martin’s actions).” The thumbnail includes images of Marcos, Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Romualdez, referred to as “Tambaloslos” – a reference to Vice President Sara Duterte’s cryptic remarks in May 2023. As of writing, the video gained 23,359 views, 951 likes, and 142 comments.
A similar video uploaded by Showbiz Sports Fanatics on January 14 uses the thumbnail with the text, “Nag-desisyon na, PBBM at Imee tanggalin na si Tamba (Decision is made, PBBM and Imee will remove Tamba).” It has 67,397 views, 1,100 likes, and 153 comments.
The facts: Romualdez is still the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the current 19th Congress.
No news of his possible ouster has emerged recently, as Romualdez is currently in Davos, Switzerland to lead the Philippine delegation to the 2024 World Economic Forum.
Marcos has not made any statements calling for Romualdez’s replacement with Arroyo, who was removed as House deputy speaker in November.
No power: The authority to elect or replace a sitting House Speaker lies with the House of Representatives.
Article VI, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution clearly states that the House Speaker is elected “by a majority vote of all its respective Members.” The Rules of the 19th Congress also state the same provisions.
No resolution seeking to oust Romualdez from office has been filed in the House of Representatives in the past months.
Charter change stance: Videos claiming that Romualdez has been replaced as House Speaker have been circulating recently amid the shake-up in the legislative branch over talks on amending the 1987 Constitution.
In December, Romualdez said charter change would be part of the House’s agenda for 2024. He also expressed support for the Senate’s initiative to file a resolution of both houses of Congress to amend the Constitution. The proposed amendments would ease economic restrictions that hinder the entry of foreign investors.
Several senators, including Romualdez’s cousin, Senator Imee Marcos, oppose charter change. She has also slammed Romualdez’s alleged involvement in the latest move for charter change through the people’s initiative. Romualdez’s allies in Congress, like ACT-CIS Representative Erwin Tulfo, came to his defense, saying that he did not give instructions for a nationwide signature campaign. – Lance Arevada/Rappler.com
Lance Arevada is an Aries Rufo Journalism Fellow for 2023-2024.
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