Lakas-CMD continues to bolster ranks

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    THE Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats continues to strengthen its ranks as two congressmen took their oath Monday night as new members while five party-list lawmakers signed an alliance agreement with the party.

    Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II, a deputy majority leader, and Catanduanes Rep. Hector Sanchez were sworn in at the Quezon City residence of former president and speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the chairman emeritus of the party.

    “Lakas-CMD is open for new members and we will continue to strengthen our political influence nationwide,” said House majority leader Martin Romualdez, party president.

    Lakas-CMD officials and members led by deputy majority leader and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, the party vice president for Luzon, attended the event.

    “I feel at home here, especially with the competent leadership of House Majority Leader Romualdez,” said Palma, who abandoned the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

    Last month, San Jose del Monte City Rep. Rida Robes, one of the 14 lawmakers who bolted the ruling party and joined the National Unity Party, admitted that the transfer to NUP was caused by their disappointment over the committee assignments among members of the PDP-Laban.

    Sanchez, an independent ex-governor who was a former member of the Lakas-National Union of Christian Democrats (Lakas-NUCD) more than two decades ago, cited Lakas-CMD’s “coherent and workable” leadership of Romualdez for its members in returning to his previous political party.

    Also on Monday night, party-list Reps. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt Romualdez (Tingog); Michael Defensor (Anakalusugan); Sonny “SL” Lagon (Ako Bisaya); Alfredo Garbin (Ako Bicol) and Ana Marie Villaraza-Suarez (Alona) were declared “Lakas-CMD allies” after signing the “Declaration of Alliance for Unity and Progress” with the party to further solidify their support to the legislative agenda of President Duterte and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

    “We are Lakas-CMD allies with shared objectives to support the President’s programs and his legislative agenda as well as that of the House leadership under Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano,” said Defensor.

    “We will continue to work on achieving the national development and reform agenda which will enhance the quality of life of our people,” Lagon said.

    From only two members during the recent 17th Congress, Lakas-CMD has now 13 members and five allies in the House of Representatives.

    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-CMD include Arroyo, deputy speaker Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. of Surigao del Sur; Lanao del Sur Rep. Yasser Balindong; deputy majority leader Christopher “Toff” de Venecia of Pangasinan; Quezon Rep. Aleta Suarez, Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Paz Radaza, Negros Occidental Rep. Marilou Arroyo, and Misamis Oriental Rep. Christian Unabia.