MANILA, Philippines – Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats’ (Lakas-CMD) is preparing for the 2013 elections, with its leaders saying that they are still “a force to reckon with”.
And as if to prove that they can do it all alone, the party has decided to drop the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi), former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s party, has reverted to simply being Lakas-CMD, which was formed by then Speaker Jose de Venecia and former President Fidel Ramos.
“Binabatikos at minamaliit ang ating partido. Sinasabing politically dead na daw ang Lakas, ito ba ang patay na partido? Nagkakamali sila [They are criticizing and belittling the party. They say that Lakas is politically dead. Is this a dead party?],” said Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., the party’s president, who presided over the national executive committee meeting at the Diamond Hotel Friday which sought to strengthen their bond as a political party ahead of the elections.
He urged Lakas-CMD members to continue serving the people “even when we are not in power”, saying that it was what kept their party alive.
“We are partners of any administration’s efforts. Walang administrasyon, walang oposisyon, lahat para sa bayan [There is no administration, no opposition, the party is for the country].”
He spoke of changes affecting not only the party but of politics as a whole as the midterm elections neared. For instance, with most members of Kampi having left the Lakas-Kampi merger, the party has passed a resolution to scrap Kampi from its name.
“We will remain with Lakas through thick and thin,” said Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and Lakas-CMD Chairman Danilo Suarez, saying that they were still “a force to reckon with.
Revilla said that they could choose candidates from other parties, “mag-aadopt kami from other [parties]” but admitted that they have yet to release their senatorial slate.
He said that to date, only Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay has signified her intention to run for senator in 2013 but has yet to decide whether she would run under United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Despite having no agreement with UNA on joining forces for the upcoming elections, Revilla said that they would support Magsaysay should she team up with UNA.