House Speaker Martin Romualdez is the new Mar Roxas

What else do you call what House Speaker Martin Romualdez is doing touring the palengkes, schmoozing with the little people, and personally doling out food scraps, all before the cameras? Certainly there is something better a Speaker of the House of Representatives could do with official time paid for by Filipino taxpayers.

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It seems Romualdez would rather spend his tax-funded time campaigning for the next election than doing his job crafting laws in his office. Then again stunts like this usually work, to be fair — because Filipinos are always up for a bit of free food scraps tossed at them by one or the other two-bit politician.

One does not need to look too far back to find an example of this sort of dishonest behaviour in former senator and failed presidential wannabe Mar Roxas who spent most of his time in the various offices he occupied performing before the cameras.

Mar Roxas’s botched PR jobs spawned an entire meme production industry.

Behaviour like this is usually most evident in the lead up to an election. The timing of Romualdez’s quaint stunts is astounding in that it has only been a bit more than a year since the last national elections in 2022 and he is already on the campaign trail wasting people’s already-small attention spans. Yet it is unlikely that people like Romualdez, in their normal daily lives, ever give their next meal a second thought. Indeed, most people like him expect a proper breakfast spread laid out for them by their servants every morning as a matter of normal routine among other things.

The only real way politicians can convince people they are for real is to live like real Filipinos over a long enough period of time that actually hurts. Sometime back within the context of similar PR stunts involving politicians being photographed taking public transport to show their “solidarity” with hapless Filipino commuters I proposed in my piece “How can Metro Manila ever improve if Filipino politicians do not take public transport?” how one could really walk the talk…

If Filipino polticians want to make epal, why not make them do it all the way. Here is what I propose Filipinos — Metro Manilans in particular — demand of their politicians:

Start taking public transport everyday for the next two years leading to the 2016 elections.

Any baboon can make like a traffic cop or a palengkero for the 15 minutes it takes to produce a campaign video. But if Filipino politicians want to demonstrate how serious they are about improving the lot of ordinary Filipinos who, as part of their day-to-day lives, suffer the results of decades of government mismanagement, they should show Filipinos that they can take personal accountability for the idiocy of the government they want to be officers of.

If House Speaker Martin Romualdez would rather spend his tax-funded time making epal before the cameras, perhaps he should go the whole nine yards and do it properly. Show Filipinos he can afford food and enjoy a decent standard of living within the means a normal Filipino income allows. Otherwise, he should just go back to his office and do his job.

5 Replies to “House Speaker Martin Romualdez is the new Mar Roxas”

  1. Sadly, Martin Romualdez has become your typical epal, trapo or whatever you may call him. The way he promotes himself in all those publicity extravaganzas by visiting a public market to supposedly show his sympathy with the common folk–with news people in tow–reeks of something that is obviously scripted, so he can get better mileage. But better mileage does not translate to better respect. I also agree with the author that instead of spending his time in his office crafting laws, he goes out of his way of trying to be with the people–so that the people can remember, as well as vote for him! Lumang tugtugin iyan. Yet let us be cautious of the to-be Martin Romualdezes in government who, when you come to think of it, are a mirror of Mar Roxas himself–a figure who is most associated with incompetence, insensitivity and indifference, especially in the way he handled the Yolanda crisis. And let us also accept the reality that there are many people out there who have very long and strong memories.

  2. martin romualdez has always been trash

    he will have his fun in the sun, riding junior’s coat tails, but his days are numbered.

    this guy wont make it to any higher office in the next election, thats for sure

  3. This opinion piece has framed House Speaker Martin Romualdez, the ‘tambaloslos’, in a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situation. But, as always, there are two sides to every story. Anyone can choose their own flavor to suit an end. Cheerleaders, as always, agree what they’re told and tend to bandwagon, critical thinkers analyze.

    The words ‘ceremonial selling’ can clearly be read in the accompanying photo. It’s no different from a ‘groundbreaking’ ceremony, to celebrate the start of a new venture and give thanks to those who made it possible. It’s not an everyday affair, right?

    On an official invitation, House Speaker Martin Romualdez was tasked to lead the ‘ceremonial selling’ of the Cebu Provincial Government’s launching of the Sugbo Merkadong Barato (SMB) program.

    (The program’s idea is to give farmers an opportunity to find another market, get to sell their goods directly to the consumers, while consumers get to avail themselves of fresh goods.)

    The House Speaker can be perceived as spending his tax-funded time campaigning for the next election, but, in reality, he too can be regarded as merely fulfilling something what the LGU invitation has tasked of him to do.

    Obviously, it was intended for a press release for the promotion of an official and lawfull local government initiative. Obviously, too, every chosen Politico gets some media mileage as a bonus… to the red envy of the other ignored politicos.

    What if Speaker Romualdez was told to do something critics do not like? Perception being everything? In the process, GRP, has a story to write about.

    Is GetrealPhilippines, now, the new Rappler?!

  4. It just looks bad when leaders whose net worth far exceeds that of the average Filipino can’t seem to help solve the ordinary man’s problem. I think that’s just an expected perception.

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