Lakas-CMD ‘strengthens political influence,’ welcomes new members
MANILA, Philippines — Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) continues to “strengthen [their] political influence” as they welcomed Monday night new members and allies, party President and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said Tuesday.
In a statement, Romualdez said Deputy Majority Leader and Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II and Catanduanes Rep. Hector Sanchez took their oaths as members of the once-dominant party.
“Lakas-CMD is open for new members and we will continue to strengthen our political influence nationwide,” said Romualdez, who chairs the House committee on rules, stressing that it is normal to any political party to solidify and work on building its dominance.
Lakas-CMD officials and members led by Deputy Majority Leader and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, the party Vice President for Luzon, witnessed the event held at former Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s residence at La Vista Subdivision in Quezon City.
“I feel at home here, especially with the competent leadership of House Majority Leader Romualdez,” said Palma, who bolted from the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Earlier, some 14 PDP Laban congressmen also jumped ship to the National Unity Party (NUP), according to a list given by NUP Secretary-General for political affairs Brian Yamsuan.
Meanwhile, Sanchez, an independent ex-governor who was a former member of then Lakas-National Union of Christian Democrats more than two decades ago, cited Romualdez’s “coherent and workable” leadership in returning to his previous political party.
Also on Monday night, Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Romualdez, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor, Ako Bisaya Rep. Sonny Lagon, Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., and Alona Rep. Ana Marie Villaraza-Suarez were declared “Lakas-CMD allies.”
From only two members during the recently concluded 17th Congress, Lakas-CMD now has 13 members and five allies in the House. Last month, Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, a former House Majority Leader, and Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles joined Lakas-CMD.
The other officials and members of Lakas include Arroyo, Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., Lanao del Sur Rep. Yasser Balindong, Deputy Majority Leader and Pangasinan Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia, Quezon Rep. Aleta Suarez, Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Paz Radaza, Negros Occidental Rep. Marilou Arroyo, and Misamis Oriental Rep. Christian Unabia. /muf
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