8 more party-list lawmakers forge alliance with Lakas-CMD
MANILA, Philippines – The Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) continues to beef up its ranks in the House of Representatives, after 8 more party-list legislators coalesced with the party.
The following congressmen signed a coalition agreement with Lakas-CMD during the party's fellowship dinner on Monday night, September 30:
- Presley de Jesus, Philippine Rural Electronic Cooperatives Association
- Godofredo Guya, Rural Electronic Consumers and Beneficiaries of Development and Advancement
- Adriano Ebcas, Ako Padayon
The ceremony – attended by some 50 legislators across political parties – was held at the home of former president and House speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a longtime Lakas-CMD member before she switched to the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan in 2017.
Aside from De Jesus, Guya, and Ebcas, 5 other legislators have also formed an alliance with Lakas-CMD, but signed their respective agreements before Monday night's ceremony:
- Elizalde Co, Ako Bicol
- Romeo Momo Sr, Construction Workers' Solidarity
- Jose Gay Padiernos, Galing sa Puso
- Raymond Mendoza, Trade Union Congress Party
- Jose Teves Jr, Talino at Galing ng Pinoy
This now means Lakas-CMD has a total of 26 members and allies – 13 district representatives as party members and 13 party-list legislators as allies.
Though not a major party in the House in terms of membership, Lakas-CMD is still influential given its ties to Arroyo.
House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, who had been a strong contender for the speakership, is also the party president.
Romualdez previously said Lakas-CMD is "building its dominance" as a party and remains "open" should more lawmakers decide to join their ranks.
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 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