Former president Rodrigo Duterte has declared if House Speaker Martin Romualdez decides to run for President, he would demand that an audit be made of how the fourth highest ranking official has spent public funds.
(From left) Former president Rodrigo Duterte and House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Photos from Malacañang, Speaker’s office)
In an interview on SMNI on late Tuesday night, Oct. 10, the former chief executive revealed that Romualdez, a first cousin of President Marcos and the former campaign manager of Vice President Sara Duterte, wanted to run as president.
However, he also alleged that Congress was “the most rotten institution” in the country, and that the public needs to demand a liquidation report to see how its members spent taxpayers’ money.
“Walang limit ‘yun ano nila diyan, ‘yung pork barrel, pati ‘yan si Romualdez, he’s swallowing (There is no limit to their, their pork barrel, pork barrel, even that Romualdez, he’s swallowing),” he said.
“This Romualdez, Speaker, ‘yan ang—sige bigay ng ano sa congressman, pinabusog niya lahat. Pero sabi ko mag-audit tayo (he gives to congressmen, he filled their bellies. But I say let’s have an audit) because Speaker is poised to be or to run for president,” Duterte added.
He also pointed a finger at the House Speaker for allegedly orchestrating the attacks against the Vice President, whom the former chief executive described as a “good candidate” for the presidency.
“Alam mo kasi, hindi ko alam kung bakit inaano niya si Inday. Si Inday naman (You know, I don’t know why he is attacking Inday.) Inday is perceived to be a good candidate. But I’m saying now Inday, as far as I’m concerned, should not run for president,” the former president said.
“Tama na ‘yung vice president. Maganda na ‘yan, ibigay niya na sa iba (Vice president is enough. That’s good, give it to others),” he claimed.
He shared that Romualdez once hinted about his desire to run for the presidency, to which Duterte had said “okay” because he was a “friend” then, and “I was not thinking of my daughter”.
And while he was still amenable to Romualdez seeking the highest post in the land, he would now demand for an “audit”.
“Kung hindi ibigay sa atin yan (If it will not be given to us), I’ll ask everybody from the farmer, the businessmen, to the Church people, to every Filipino, to every soldier and policeman, that will we all demand that we open the liquidation para malaman rin namin kung paano ninyo winaldas ang pera namin (so we will know how they spent our money),” he stressed.
The former president, a widely popular leader who still tops senatorial preference surveys for 2025, did not directly endorse Marcos, his daughter’s running mate, during the 2022 national polls.
But this was the first time since Vice President Duterte took office in June 2022 that her father publicly spoke about her politics and the Marcos administration, including the House Speaker.