MANILA, Philippines -- Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte has resigned from the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) party.
Villafuerte, the party president, said he made his decision early this week, ahead of Thursday?s merger of his party with the ruling administration party Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), which was presided over by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Stalwarts of the merged parties were also no-shows at the gathering, including former President Fidel Ramos, the chairman emeritus of Lakas-CMD.
Pangasinan Representative Jose de Venecia, who resigned last year as Lakas president and was appointed president emeritus, resigned from his post on the eve of the merger.
Villafuerte has repeatedly voiced his opposition to the merger and said that important issues should be addressed for it to succeed in unifying the parties and resolving wrangling on the local level.
Villafuerte said he would be an independent and might seek reelection as a guest candidate of a different party.