Martin Romualdez

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Martin Romualdez
Ferdinand Martin Gomez Romualdez.jpg
Official portrait, 2022
28th Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines
Assumed office
July 25, 2022
Preceded byLord Allan Velasco
House Majority Leader
In office
July 22, 2019 – July 25, 2022
Preceded byFredenil Castro
Succeeded byManuel Jose Dalipe
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Leyte's 1st district
Assumed office
June 30, 2019
Preceded byYedda Marie Romualdez
In office
June 30, 2007 – June 30, 2016
Preceded byRemedios L. Petilla
Succeeded byYedda Marie Romualdez
Personal details
Ferdinand Martin Gomez Romualdez

(1963-11-14) November 14, 1963 (age 59)
Political partyLakas–CMD
SpouseYedda Marie Kittilstvedt
Parent(s)Benjamin Romualdez(father)
Juliette Gomez-Romualdez(mother)
Alma mater

Ferdinand Martin Gomez Romualdez[1] (Tagalog pronunciation: [ɾoˈmwɐldɛs], born November 14, 1963) is a Filipino businessman, lawyer and politician serving as the Speaker of the House of Representatives since July 25, 2022. He is also serving as the representative for the 1st district of Leyte since 2019 and previously from 2007 to 2016. He formerly served as the House Majority Leader from 2019 to 2022, and unsuccessfully ran for senator in the 2016 elections.[2] He is a first cousin of President Bongbong Marcos

Romualdez is the owner of newspaper companies Manila Standard and the Journal Group of Publications and mass media firm Philippine Collective Media Corporation.[3] He is also the national president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats political party.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Ferdinand Martin Gomez Romualdez is the third child of former Leyte governor and ambassador to the United States Benjamin Romualdez and Juliette Gomez-Romualdez.[5][6][7] His father was once named by Forbes as the 30th richest man in the Philippines with a net worth of P3.3 billion, which the Presidential Commission on Good Government claimed was allegedly ill-gotten.[8] He is the nephew of former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos and former president Ferdinand Marcos, while incumbent President Bongbong and Senator Imee Marcos are his cousins.[5][6]

Romualdez attended Cornell University in the United States from 1981 to 1985, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in government.[5][6][9] In 1988, he earned a Certificate of Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University. He later enrolled at the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1988, where he became a member of the Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1992.[5][6][10] He was admitted to the bar in 1993.

In 1992, Romualdez was appointed as concurrent trustee and president of the Doña Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Medical Foundation and Dr. Vicente Orestes Romualdez Educational Foundation, both of which are owned by his family.[11]

In 1995, he started work as director and legal counsel for the CARPA Realty Development Corporation. Prior to his political career, Romualdez served as chairman of the board for Equitable PCI Bank.[12]

Political career[edit]

Romualdez authored House Bill No. 1039, which was enacted into law by President Benigno Aquino III as Republic Act No. 10754 or an act on expanding the benefits and privileges of people with disabilities.[13]

In April 2014, Romualdez expressed his interest to run as senator in the 2016 elections.[14] He filed his certificate of candidacy for senator on October 13, 2015.[2] In November 7, 2015, Romualdez declared his support for presidential candidate Jejomar Binay.[15] In 2016 Davao City mayor and presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte also endorsed the candidacy of Romualdez.[16] He ran under the Lakas–CMD party, of which he is the national president, but ultimately failed to win a senate seat.

In the 2019 elections, Romualdez again won as representative of Leyte's 1st congressional district. Romualdez was later elected House Majority Leader of the 18th Congress.

On July 10, 2020, Martin and his wife Yedda Romualdez were among the 70 congressmen who voted "yes" to reject the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.[17]

In November 2022, Romualdez, along with six other lawmakers, filed House Bill 6398 proposing the creation of the Maharlika Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund for the Philippines inspired from South Korea's Korea Investment Corporation.[18][19] The proposal drew mixed reactions from economists and mostly negative reactions from the general public.[20][21]

Personal life[edit]

Romualdez (left) with his wife Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez

Romualdez is married to Yedda Marie M. Kittilstvedt, who represented the Philippines for Miss International 1996. They have four children together.


  1. ^ "Martin Romualdez and wife Yedda: A love built on helping others". Manila Standard. February 17, 2016. Archived from the original on October 19, 2019. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Romualdez files COC for senator; mum on presidential pick". Philippine Daily Inquirer. October 13, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  3. ^ "Razon sells Manila Standard Today to Romualdez group". The Philippine Star. April 16, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "Lakas–CMD chief: In democracy, anyone can run". Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 25, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "Who is Martin Romualdez?". ABS-CBN News. August 18, 2009. Archived from the original on April 30, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d Tan, Kimberly Jane; Calonzo, Andreo (November 20, 2009). "'Lavish dinner' host is chief fund raiser of Arroyo party". GMA News. Archived from the original on November 29, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  7. ^ Ong, Czarina Nicole (June 25, 2018). "Sandiganbayan junks forfeiture case against Imelda's late brother". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on November 29, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "Romualdez: My father was not a Marcos crony". ABS-CBN News. February 15, 2016.
  9. ^ Wilensky, Joe (November 14, 2013). "Alumni, students aid the Philippines". Cornell Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  10. ^ "CEU Law dean leads Upsilon UNO awardees". Manila Bulletin. April 9, 2017. Archived from the original on April 18, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  11. ^ Gabieta, Joey A. (February 26, 2012). "Leyteños pay their last respects to Romualdez". Retrieved March 19, 2023.
  12. ^ "Who I Am : Martin Romualdez". August 21, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2023.
  13. ^ "Aquino signs into law Romualdez's PWD bill". Philippine Daily Inquirer. March 30, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  14. ^ "Romualdez eyes Senate seat in 2016". Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 1, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  15. ^ "Romualdez cousins supporting Binay in 2016". Rappler. December 7, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  16. ^ Ponce Pacpaco, Ryan (May 7, 2016). "Vote for Romualdez –– Duterte". Journal Online. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  17. ^ Perez-Rubio, Bella (July 10, 2020). "List of lawmakers who voted for and against ABS-CBN franchise renewal". Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "Romualdez, Sandro Marcos file bill creating PH sovereign wealth fund". Rappler. November 29, 2022. Retrieved December 3, 2022.
  19. ^ Cigaral, Ian Nicolas (December 3, 2022). "Does the P250-B Maharlika Wealth Fund make sense?". Retrieved December 3, 2022.
  20. ^ Neil (December 5, 2022). "Maharlika Wealth Fund: Cheers and fears". BusinessWorld Online. Retrieved March 19, 2023.
  21. ^ "Why the Philippines' Sovereign Wealth Fund is Controversial". Time. December 16, 2022. Retrieved March 19, 2023.
House of Representatives of the Philippines
Preceded by
Remedios L. Petilla
Member of the House of Representatives from Leyte
Succeeded by
Yedda Marie Romualdez
Preceded by
Yedda Marie Romualdez
Member of the House of Representatives from Leyte
Preceded by House Majority Leader
Succeeded by
Manuel Jose Dalipe
Preceded by Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines
Order of precedence
Preceded byas President of the Senate of the Philippines Order of Precedence of the Philippines
as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines
Succeeded byas Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Lines of succession
Preceded byas President of the Senate of the Philippines Philippine presidential line of succession
as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines