Lakas leaders hold reunion

POLITICAL bigwigs yesterday reunited to strengthen the Lakas-CMD (Lakas-Christian Muslims Democrats).

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the party’s president emeritus, was the special guest during a luncheon reunion hosted by former Speaker and party co-chair Jose de Venecia held at the Sampaguita Gardens in Quezon City.

De Venecia and Arroyo were runningmates during 1998 presidential elections.

Other special guests were Majority Leader and the current party president Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and party chairman Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

“Our team is in the process of rebuilding Lakas-CMD and we will just have to win them (former members) back again,” Romualdez said.

In his speech, De Venecia urged Lakas-CMD congressmen to take the lead in  strengthening the party and make sure that it plays a leading role in the forthcoming 2020 elections.

“We are proud and happy to say that Lakas-NUCD-UMDP, now Lakas-CMD, is already 28 years old and had led our country for 15 years – six years under President [Fidel] Ramos and nine years under President Arroyo. And we can be proud of our achievements,” De Venecia stressed.

“As part of any thorough-going political reform, we need to build up strong political parties, to institutionalize -- and therefore stabilize -- political decision  making,” he added.

De Venecia noted that many of the political problems plaguing the country “rise from our lack of political groupings able to think coherently of the national interest.”

Also present at the event were Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Butch Pichay, Quezon Rep. Aleta Suarez;  Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Paz Radasa; Lanao del Sur Rep. Yasser Balindong, Misami Oriental Rep. Christian Unabia; Catanduanes  Rep. Hector Sanchez Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado and Pa ngsinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia.