Some members of Vice President Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago have transferred to the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats political party Davao Oriental Vice Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang Jr. and five provincial board members took their oath before Speaker Martin Romualdez of Lakas-CMD.
Dayanghirang is a known ally of the Dutertes, while some of the board members were then stalwarts of the HNP.
The vice governor is a former member of the Nacionalista Party.
Duterte said she has no comment on the decision of HNP members to bolt the party.
A number of local officials, including three lawmakers who were former members of the erstwhile ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), also joined Lakas Tuesday, bringing the party’s strength in the House of Representatives to 89.
Romualdez, who is Lakas-CMD president, administered the oath to Reps. Richard Kho, Olga Kho, and Wilton Kho of Masbate’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd districts, respectively, and 17 town mayors and a municipal vice mayor as new party members.
“We are elated to welcome our colleagues and local officials, who, we believe, share our deep commitment to help our beloved President, further grow our economy, create more income and job opportunities, and make food products accessible and affordable. In sum, to make life generally better for our people,” Romualdez said.
He expressed hoped that “our new members will have a memorable and fruitful engagement with us, and we look forward to exchanging views and experiences with them.”
“We thank them and our local officials for joining Lakas-CMD,” he added.
Mayor Kristine Salve Kho of Mandaon, Masbate also took her oath alongside the province’s lawmakers as a new member of the party.
The affiliation of the Khos followed with the swearing into Lakas-CMD in the last 20 days of 10 former PDP-Laban officials and members, namely Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Pampanga Rep. Carmelo Lazatin II, Siquijor Rep. Zaldy S. Villa,Parañaque City 1st District Rep. Edwin Olivares, Pasay City Lone District Rep. Antonino Calixto, Zamboanga del Norte 2nd District Rep. Glona Labadlabad, Cebu 2nd District Rep. Eduardo Roa Rama Jr., Camarines Norte, 2nd District Rep. Rosemarie Conejos Panotes, Agusan del Norte 2nd District Rep. DaleCorvera, and Caloocan City 2nd District Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy.
Former members of the Nacionalista Party — Nueva Ecija 1st District Rep. Mikaela Angela Suansing and Cagayan de Oro City 1st District Rep. Lordan Suan — also joined Lakas-CMD.