By Ellson Quismorio
Expect the once-mighty Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) to have its own line up of candidates for the coming Senate race in May.
Thus, said Lakas-CMD stalwart, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez during a recent press conference at the House of Representatives.
“We are going to field our own candidates for the Senate and we will be adopting some candidates as well,” said the Quezon 3rd district congressman who happens to be among the more loyal members of Lakas.
By “adopting” candidates, Suarez meant including non-Lakas members in the political party’s senatorial slate, which is a common practice in Philippine politics.
Although Lakas has seen better days, the party is under a resurgence of sorts with the emergence of its spiritual leader, Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as House Speaker in July 2018.
Lakas has produced a Philippine president in Arroyo, who served in Malacañang from 2001 to 2010. She is now with Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), which is the party of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte.
Also making a return to the limelight following his acquittal from a plunder charge is Lakas-CMD’s chairman, former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. The ever-popular Revilla, an ex-movie actor, is a senatorial bet under the slate of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional party backed by presidential daughter Mayor Sara Duterte of Davao City.
Asked who will comprise the Lakas-CMD’s Senate slate, Suarez said the full line up will be announced by party president and former three-term Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez during future media availabilities.
When pressed for names, Suarez asked reporters in jest, “Sino ba ang palagay ninyong mananalo? (Who do you think will win?)”
He went on to drop the names of survey front runners Revilla, reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar, former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, and another former senator-slash-movie actor in Lito Lapid. However, the Minority Leader didn’t say if any of these names will be on their final list.
Suarez chairs the House Committee on Public Accounts.