Lakas-CMD recruits 2 new lawmakers, allies with 5 party-list groups
MANILA, Philippines – The number of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) members in the House of Representatives is slowly increasing.
The party's roster in the House climbed to 13 after Zamboanga Sibugay 1st District Representative Wiltee Wee Palma II and Catanduanes Representative Hector Sanchez took their oath as Lakas-CMD members Monday night, September 3.
Palma jumped ship from the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, while Sanchez ran as an independent during the May elections.
Lakas-CMD also forged a coalition agreement with 5 party-list lawmakers, some of whom are known allies of longtime Lakas member, former president and House speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Topping the list is Tingong Sinirangan Representative Yedda Romualdez, the wife of Lakas-CMD president and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez.
The other party-list legislators who are now allied with Lakas-CMD are Anakalusugan Representative Mike Defensor, Ako Bisaya Representative Sonny Lagon, Ako Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr, and Alona Representative Ana Marie Villaraza Suarez.
Romualdez said his party is currently “building its dominance” in the lower chamber.
“Lakas-CMD is open for new members and we will continue to strengthen our political influence nationwide,” said Romualdez.
Though not a major party in the House in terms of membership, Lakas-CMD is still influential given its ties with Arroyo. Lakas-CMD president Romualdez even considers the former president as his mentor. (READ: Romualdez thanks mentor GMA 'for making me become what I am today’)
When Romualdez and Arroyo’s son, Pampanga 2nd District Representative Juan Miguel Arroyo, invited lawmakers from across political parties to a “get-together” dinner in August, more than 50 legislators showed up.
A majority of these lawmakers were also among those who had supported Romualdez’s bid for the speakership. But the Leyte representative stepped aside after President Rodrigo Duterte endorsed the term-sharing agreement for Speaker between Taguig City-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.
Under the same deal, Romualdez was offered the Majority Leader post instead. – Rappler.com