9 new members take oath
THE strength of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) has been growing consistently with the entry to the party of nine new members who will seek elective posts in next year’s presidential elections.
Lakas-CMD President and House Majority Leader Martin G. Romualdez of the 1st District of Leyte and Secretary General and Deputy Speaker Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. of Surigao del Sur on Friday afternoon administered the oath to San Pedro Councilor Michael Murillo Casacop and Divina De Vera Olivarez who will run for vice mayor, and would be candidates for councilor Marky S. Oliveros, Aldrin Gerrold C. Mercado, Jose Enrico Manas Mendoza, Sheriliz Bendaña Almoro, Chelsea “VI-VI” Viaje Villegas, Vincent Jude T. Solidum, and Mark Elizier A. Acierto.
“I would like to thank [San Pedro, Laguna] Vice Mayor Art Mercado for bringing them to our ever growing Lakas-CMD family. We will protect and safeguard the interest of our members and we are going to be a resilient and victorious team in 2022 polls,” Romualdez, president of the Lakas-CMD and chairman of the House Committee on Rules.
Mercado is a Lakas-CMD member who will seek the mayoralty post.
In the House of Representatives, the strength of Lakas-CMD has grown to 48, of which 26 are district congressmen and 22 are party-list allies.
“Lakas-CMD is re-emerging as a major political force, just in time for the coming elections. We have activated our regional councils, who are now busy screening applicants for new party membership all over the country,“ Romualdez, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines (UP) and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).
Romualdez narrated to new recruits that Lakas-CMD executive committee had decided on June 23, 2021 to renew its political alliance with the influential regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
“The Lakas-CMD was the first political party to signify intention to renew an alliance with Mayor Sara’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago. This alliance binds our party to support whoever is chosen by HNP as their candidates for President and Vice President,” Romualdez said.
The Lakas-CMD officials and members in the House of Representatives are Lakas-CMD Vice President for Luzon and Deputy Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo of Pampanga, Deputy Secretary General and Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II, Davao de Oro Rep. Manuel “Way Kurat” E. Zamora, 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, Misamis Oriental Rep. Christian Unabia, former House Majority Leader and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles, Catanduanes Rep. Hector Sanchez, Camiguin Rep. Xavier Jesus “XJ” Romualdo, Dinagat Islands Rep. Alan Ecleo, Southern Leyte Rep. Roger “Oging” Mercado, Biliran Rep. Gerardo “Gerryboy” Espina Jr., Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, Quezon City Rep. Anthony Peter “Onyx” Crisologo, Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe, Cavite Rep. Strike Revilla, Isabela Rep. Antonio “Tonypet” Albano, Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Leonardo L. Babasa Jr., Cagayan Rep. Samantha Louise Vargas Alfonso and Davao Occidental Rep. Lorna Bautista-Bandigan.
The 22 Lakas-CMD allies from the party-list bloc include Tingog Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt Romualdez, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor, Ako Bisaya Rep. Sonny “SL” Lagon, Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin, Alona Rep. Ana Marie Villaraza-Suarez, Ako Bicol Rep. Elizalde Co, Ako Padayon Pilipino Rep. Adriano Ebcas, CWS Rep. Romeo Momo, Sr., GP Rep. Jose Gay Padiernos, Philreca Rep. Presyley de Jesus, Recobodan Rep. Godofredo Guya, TGP Rep. Jose Teves, TUCP Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza, Magsasaka Rep. Argel Cabatbat, Deputy Speaker and Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, Ang Probinsyano Alfred Delos Santos, APEC Rep. Sergio Dagooc, Senior Citizens Rep. Rodolfo M. Ordanes, Duterte Youth Rep. Ducielle Marie S. Cardema, BHW Rep. Angelina Natasha Co, LPGMA Rep. Allan Ty, and DUMPER PTDA Rep. Claudine Diana D. Bautista.
Lakas-CMD had produced two chief executives, namely former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who also previously served as Speaker during the previous 17th Congress.