More lawmakers ditch PDP-LABAN to join Lakas-CMD

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THE exodus of members from the erstwhile ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) continues today as two more lawmakers leave their former party to join the Lakas Christian-Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).

Another lawmaker, coming from the National Unity Party (NUP), also joined Lakas-CMD, increasing the party’s numbers in the House of Representatives to 92.

Reps. Divine Grace Yu (Zamboanga del Sur, First District) and Mohamad Khalid Q. Dimaporo (Lanao del Norte, First District), both formerly of PDP-Laban, and Ma. Cynthia “Cindi” Chan (Lapu-Lapu City, Lone District) of NUP today took the oath as members of Lakas-CMD, along with 18 mayors from Zamboanga del Sur.

House Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, Lakas-CMD president, personally administered the oath to the new members of his party, saying Lakas-CMD is entering a new age of political unity not only in the House of Representatives but in the whole country as well.

“We are pleased to welcome Reps. Divine Grace, Cindi and Khalid to Lakas-CMD. Our shared ideals of service to the people and being responsive to the needs of the country unite us all. Our commitment to support President Marcos Jr. and his legislative agenda also binds us,” Romualdez, leader of the 315-member House of Representatives, said.

“We also welcome our new members from Zamboanga del Sur. Let us continue working for the welfare of the Filipino people, for the growth of the Philippine economy, and for the protection of the sovereignty of our country. Sama-sama nating ipakita ang ating pagmamahal sa bayan bilang isang nagkakaisang partido,” he added.

The three new members of Lakas-CMD followed the oathtaking two weeks ago of Reps. Richard Kho, Olga Kho, and Wilton Kho – all representatives of Masbate.

Before that 10 former PDP-Laban officials and members bolted from their party to join Lakas-CMD, namely Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” D. Gonzales Jr., Pampanga Rep. Carmelo “Jon” B. Lazatin II, Siquijor Rep. Zaldy S. Villa, Parañaque City 1st District Rep. Edwin L. Olivares, Pasay City Lone District Rep. Antonino G. Calixto, Zamboanga del Norte 2nd District Rep. Glona G. Labadlabad, Cebu 2nd District Rep. Eduardo Roa Rama Jr., Camarines Norte, 2nd District Rep. Rosemarie Conejos Panotes, Agusan del Norte 2nd District Rep. Dale B. Corvera, and Caloocan City 2nd District Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy.

Former Nacionalista Party members Nueva Ecija 1st District Rep. Mikaela Angela Suansing and Cagayan de Oro City 1st District Rep. Lordan G. Suan had also joined the Lakas-CMD.

In the same oath-taking ceremony, these mayors from Zamboanga del Sur have also joined Lakas-CMD:

1. Mayor Silvano Zanoria – Aurora
2. Mayor Gerry T. Paglinawan – Dumingag
3. Mayor Catalino A. Adapon – Josefina
4. Mayor Manuel Saladaga – Mahayag
5. Mayor Elmer M. Soronio – Midsalip
6. Mayor Cyril Reo Glepa – Molave
7. Mayor Margie A. Machon – Ramon Magsaysay
8. Mayor Johnriel D. Melo – Sominot
9. Mayor Macario Tingson – Tukura
10. Mayor Avelino J. Yrauda – Dimataling
11. Mayor Eleazar Y. Asoy – Dinas
12. Mayor Domingo V. Mirrar – Lakewood
13. Mayor Joel B. Sulong – Lapuyan
14. Mayor Alejandro E. Agua III – Margosatubig
15. Mayor James L. Yecyec – Pitogo
16. Mayor Ex D. Ocapan – San Miguel
17. Mayor Anthony A. Dayondon – Tabina
18. Mayor Eleazar C. Carcallas – Tigbao

The oath-taking ceremony was held at the Social Hall of the Office of the Speaker at Batasan Complex in Quezon City. House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe, Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales, Jr., along with Lakas Secretary General and Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Jose “Boboy” Aquino II witnessed the oath-raking rites. Pampanga 2nd District Rep. and Lakas Chairperson emeritus Gloria Macapagal Arroyo along with other party stalwarts also graced the event.