The Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party is recruiting more incumbent and former local government officials into its ranks ahead of the 2022 national and local elections, and to supposedly help the government in its programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lakas-CMD president and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez on Thursday, April 29, disclosed 17 new members have sworn in to the party, which include its former member Davao de Oro Rep. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, and Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla.
“Lakas-CMD party is growing stronger and better every day. Our focus now is to use the party’s strength to help our people in this time of COVID-19 pandemic,” Romualdez, who also chairs the House Committee on Rules, said during the virtual oath-taking event on Wednesday, April 28.
Romualdez said Zamora’s entry to the Lakas-CMD has strengthened the 28-year-old political party’s force in the House of Representatives. Lakas-CMD members from the lower chamber are now 48, 26 of which are district congressmen and 22 are party-list allies.
Zamora was a member of the Lakas-CMD before joining the Liberal Party in 2012, and the ruling party Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in 2016.
He is also a member of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) led by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Meanwhile, Mercado-Revilla was also from the PDP-Laban. Her husband, incumbent Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. is a long-time member and is currently the chairman of the Lakas-CMD party.
“Thank you, despite the pandemic, we are here working very hard to strengthen our party,” Romualdez told their new members.
He also reiterated the Lakas-CMD’s support to pass President Duterte’s legislative agenda in the remaining 14 months of his administration.
“With Lakas-CMD gaining momentum in the House of Representatives, our party will continue working closely with Speaker Lord Allan Velasco to wrap up the approval of the entire legislative agenda of President Duterte before our term ends in 2022,” he assured.
Aside from Zamora and Mercado-Revilla, others who joined the Lakas-CMD were: former Occidental Mindoro Rep. Amelita Villarosa; ex-Batanes Rep. Carlo Oliver Diasnes; Glan, Sarangani Mayor Vivien Yap; Antique Board Member Emmanual Palacios Jr.; former Buluan, Maguindanao Mayor Ibrahim “Jong” Mangudadatu; Aklan Board Member Nelson Santamaria; Sittie Aminah Quibranza Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte; Cotabato Board Member Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva; Aurora Board Member Philip “Butch” Bautista; Anthony Wooden of Mountain Province; retired Police Col. Ronald Joseph Ocaya of Zamboanga del Norte; Passi City, Iloilo Vice Mayor Jesry Palmares; Nueva Valencia, Guimaras Mayor Emmanuel Galila; Ma. Alana Samantha Taliño Santos of Region 12 and Cotabato Councilor Ralph Ryan Rafael.
All were named party chairpersons in their respective areas.
Former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who also previously served as House Speaker, are members of the Lakas-CMD.