Two congressmen have joined the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) as the party continues to fortify its united voice to help President Rodrigo Duterte defeat the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Lakas-CMD President and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez of Leyte and Lakas-CMD Vice President for Luzon and Deputy Majority Leader Juan Miguel Arroyo of Pampanga administered the oath to Reps. Xavier Jesus Romualdo and Alan Ecleo of Dinagat Islands on Tuesday afternoon, bringing its total House membership to 36 with 19 district congressmen and 17 party-list allies and friends.
“It’s a great pleasure and happiness that we are here today (Tuesday) to report to you that Lakas-CMD party is growing stronger and better every day,” Romualdez, chair of the House Committee on Rules, told the hybrid oath-taking event.
“Lakas-CMD is gaining momentum in its goal to strengthen its ranks in the House of Representatives. We will continue this feat in the coming months by strengthening our support for our 19 regular members and 17 party-list allies,” added Romualdez.
He also welcomed the two legislators to what he described as “the ever growing Lakas-CMD party. The party will remain a staunch ally of the government and will continue to support the swift passage of President Duterte’s legislative agenda.”
Arroyo, for his part, said he was happy to see his fellow legislators joining the Lakas-CMD. “I am very happy to see everyone. Although we have the pandemic, we are working very hard to strengthen our political party because only in strength that we can really help our people. We need to do this as part of our mandate to provide basic services to our people,” Arroyo said in his opening remarks.
Romualdo and Ecleo were both members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) prior to their decision to join Romualdez’s political party.
Romualdo physically attended the oath-taking with Romualdez and Arroyo at the Executive Lounge of the House of Representatives while Ecleo joined via Zoom with majority of party members and allies.
Romualdez and Arroyo thanked Lakas-CMD stalwart and House Deputy Majority Leader Wilter Wee Palma II of Zamboanga Sibugay for working very hard in the recruitment of new party members, calling him a “workhorse of the party.”
Romualdez said the Lakas-CMD is bound to push for a common legislative agenda that would help address the nation’s problems, especially the ffects of the COVID-19.
“While we work with this administration, Lakas-CMD will also push for a common legislative agenda that will address the concerns of all sectors, especially those that are affected by the pandemic,” said Romualdez, the co-chairman of the House Defeat COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano that led the passage of at least six anti-COVID measures designed to kick-start the economy through infrastructure spending programs that would create jobs and boost public health following the global health emergency.
Lakas-CMD, under the leadership of Romualdez, has been steadily consolidating its forces in the House since the previous 17th Congress.
Last June, Romualdez administered the oath to 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 Presidents, namely Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a former Speaker in the previous 17th Congress.
Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, Biliran Rep. Gerardo Espina Jr., and Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman took their oath as Lakas-CMD members last December, February, and March, respectively.
The other officials and members of the Lakas-CMD in the House of Representatives are Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr., Lanao del Sur Rep. Yasser Balindong, Deputy Majority
Leader and Pangasinan Rep. Christopher 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 18 party-list lawmakers who are allied with Lakas-CMD include Tingog Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt Romualdez, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor, Ako Bisaya Rep. Sonny 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-list lawmakers 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 Speaker Cayetano.
Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. is the Lakas-CMD chairman.
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