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Lakas-CMD reaffirms support for Duterte

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
Lakas-CMD reaffirms support for Duterte
The party, now chaired by Duterte-Carpio, denied reports that it is being blamed by the President for her decision not to run for president and that it is plotting to unseat members of the ruling PDP-Laban led by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco from the House leadership.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The once ruling and now re-emerging Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) has reaffirmed its support for President Duterte amid rumors of a falling-out due to the decision of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for vice president against her father’s wishes.

The party, now chaired by Duterte-Carpio, denied reports that it is being blamed by the President for her decision not to run for president and that it is plotting to unseat members of the ruling PDP-Laban led by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco from the House leadership.

“We take this opportunity to reiterate our strong and unequivocal support to President Duterte and his bid for the Senate in the 2022 elections. We will continue to work closely with Malacañang to push for the President’s legislative agenda in the remaining months of the 18th Congress,” Lakas-CMD said in a statement issued Wednesday night.

The party of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said it does not want to cut ties with the ruling party, especially since Duterte-Carpio intends to serve as a unifying leader.

“Mayor Sara is now the standard bearer of Lakas-CMD and the acknowledged guiding light of the party. We are constantly guided by her instructions to continue forging alliances and maintaining good relationship with all forces supportive of the administration’s efforts to improve the living condition of the Filipino people,” the party pointed out.

Lakas-CMD also denied the claim of DIWA party-list Rep. Mike Aglipay that the President has blamed the party for his daughter’s decision.

“President Duterte did not make any categorical statement blaming Lakas-CMD for the decision of Mayor Sara to run as vice president. We would like to refer Rep. Mike Aglipay to the interview of the President last Sunday with regard (to) Mayor Sara’s decision. Nowhere in his statement did the President blame Lakas-CMD or any member of the party for the mayor’s decision,” the party said.

It also dismissed as “insinuation” the statement of Aglipay that rumors of a coup against Velasco came from them.

“There is also absolutely no basis to Rep. Aglipay’s insinuations that rumors on a supposed coup to oust the Speaker and the Majority Leader may have come from ‘them’ meaning Lakas. This is utterly preposterous. These rumors did not originate from us and we don’t have any intention of changing the leadership in the House of Representatives,” the Lakas-CMD said.

But there is no doubt that Lakas-CMD is now re-emerging as a stronger political party as 28 more politicians – including ruling party members in the House – joined the party founded by former president Fidel Ramos yesterday.

“We thank them for trusting the Lakas-CMD,” House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Lakas-CMD president, said after administering the oath to new party members from Quezon City.

The new members are led by Rep. Precious Castelo, wife of Quezon City Councilor Winnie Castelo who is now running for vice mayor in the 2022 polls, former representatives Bingbong Crisologo and Nanette Daza, and actor Bobby Andrews.

Congressional aspirants Marvin Rillo and Crisologo also took their oath as Lakas-CMD members.

Some of candidates for Quezon City councilors who also joined Lakas-CMD are Lorraine Carandang, Eldridge De Castro, John Nieto and Bong Vinzons of first district; comedian Roderick Paulate, Martin Leachon and Kurt Castelo Nocum of second district; Andrews, Daza and Imee Rillo of fourth district; Ali Forbes, Jaja Mantele, Karl John Paguio, Luis Saludes, Ricky Mathay and Jemboy Castelo of sixth district. – Delon Porcalla

LAKAS-CMD PRESIDENT DUTERTE
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