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Romualdez: Lakas growing, getting stronger

Martin Romualdez
House Majority Leader and Lakas-CMD Party President Martin Romualdez (4th left) administer the ceremonial oath taking of new Lakas-CMD member Zamboanga *City 2nd District) Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe (center) at the Majority office on September 15, 2020. With them are (from right) VP for Muslim Affairs Rep. Yasser Alonto Balindong, VP for Luzon Rep. Hector Sanchez, Deputy Secretary General Rep. Wilter "Sharky"Palma, Executive Vice-President Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey"Arroyo, Secretary General Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr., as well as members Rep.Joseph Cabatbat and Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo. Photo by VER NOVENO

THE strength of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) in the House of Representatives has grown to 42, of which 21 are district congressmen and 21 are party-list allies, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez announced on Sunday.

Romualdez, Lakas-CMD President, said the latest addition is Quezon City Rep. Anthony Peter “Onyx” D. Crisologo who took his oath as party member Friday night at the Majority Leader’s office before the House of Representatives adjourned its special session.

Crisologo was sworn in by Romualdez.

Romualdez also announced that Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose M. Dalipe took his oath as Lakas-CMD member last September 15.

Dalipe took his oath before Romualdez also at the Majority Leader’s office last Thursday.

Before transferring to the Lakas-CMD, Dalipe was a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). Crisologo came from the National Unity Party (NUP).

As part of the administration’s coalition party, Romualdez reiterated Lakas-CMD’s commitment to support the passage of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s legislative agenda.

“Welcome to the ever growing Lakas-CMD party. This is in line with our commitment to strengthen Lakas-CMD’s political influence nationwide and help President Duterte pass the remaining legislative agenda of his administration and ensure that genuine reforms are implemented in the last 20 months of his administration,” said Romualdez, chairman of the powerful House Committee on Rules.

“Lakas-CMD is gaining momentum in its goal to strengthen its ranks in the House of Representatives,” added Romualdez, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines (UP) and President of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).

Romualdez stressed the party is also focused on fortifying its united voice to help Duterte defeat the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The four new party-list lawmakers to complete the 21 Lakas-CMD allies or friends, according to Romualdez, are Reps. Rodolfo M. Ordanes (Senior Citizens), Ducielle Marie S. Cardema (Duterte Youth), Angelina Natasha Co (BHW), and Claudine Diana D. Bautista (DUMPER PTDA).

They signed the “Declaration of Alliance for Unity and Progress” with the party to further solidify their support to the legislative agenda of President Duterte and House leadership, Romualdez said.

Recently, Camiguin Rep. Xavier Jesus “XJ” Romualdo and Dinagat Islands Rep. Alan Ecleo joined Lakas-CMD. They used to be members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Quezon City Councilor Winnie Castelo, who served three terms as Quezon City congressman also joined Lakas-CMD on October 6. He is the husband of Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo.

Lakas-CMD Vice President for Luzon and Deputy Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo of Pampanga, House Deputy Majority Leader Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II of Zamboanga Sibugay and other Lakas-stalwarts witnessed the oath-taking of the new party members.

Lakas-CMD, under the leadership of Romualdez, has been steadily consolidating its forces in the House of Representatives since the 17th Congress.

Last June, Romualdez administered the oath to new Lakas-CMD members Bayog Mayor Celso A. Matias, San Miguel Mayor Angelito L. Martinez II and Guipos Mayor Vicente P. Cajeta, all from Zamboanga Sibugay.

Lakas-CMD produced two Philippine Presidents namely Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a former Speaker last Congress.

Southern Leyte Rep. Roger “Oging” Mercado, Biliran Rep. Gerardo “Gerryboy” Espina Jr., and Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman took their oath as Lakas-CMD members last December, February, and March, respectively.

Other officials and members of the Lakas-CMD in the House of Representatives are Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., 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, and Catanduanes Rep. Hector Sanchez.

The 17 party-list lawmakers to complete the 21 Lakas-CMD allies 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, Recoboda 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, and APEC Rep. Sergio Dagooc.

The party is currently chaired by Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.