Romualdez administers oath to new LAKAS member

Martin Romualdez
NEW LAKAS MEMBER -- LAKAS-CMD President and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez administers the virtual oath-taking of new LAKAS-CMD member Zamboanga Del Sur 2nd District Rep. Leonardo Babasa Jr via Zoom. Babasa is the 17th member of Lakas-CMD. Photo by VER NOVENO

HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Monday afternoon administered the oath-taking of another lawmaker as new member of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), bringing to 35 the total number of its membership in the House of Representatives, including 18 party-list allies.

“We are in the process of beefing up our ranks by recruiting more lawmakers. We are working very hard to keep with our promise to solidify and strengthen our political influence,” said Romualdez, president of the Lakas-CMD and chairman of the powerful House Committee on Rules.

Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Leonardo “Jun” Babasa, Jr., was sworn in as new party member by Romualdez and House Deputy Majority Leader and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo and Deputy Majority Leader and Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II via Zoom.

With the entry of Babasa, the Lakas-CMD’s strength has increased to 35 with 17 congressional districts and 18 party-list lawmaker-allies.

Babasa, vice chairman of the of the House committees on disaster management, on higher and technical education, and on local government, was a former member of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Romualdez reiterated the strong commitment of the Lakas-CMD to support the passage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda.

“The Lakas-CMD political party is a staunch ally of the government and will continue to support the swift passage of President Duterte’s legislative  agenda,” said Romualdez, co-chairman of the Defeat COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee (DCC) with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

The DCC  spearheaded the passage of at least six anti-COVID measures designed to kickstart the economy through infrastructure spending programs that would create jobs and boost public health following the global health emergency.

Lakas-CMD produced two Presidents namely Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former Speaker in the previous 17th Congress. Southern Leyte Rep. Roger “Oging” Mercado, Biliran Rep. Gerardo “Gerryboy” Espina Jr., and Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman took their oaths 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 Majority Leaders Arroyo and Palma, Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., Lanao del Sur Rep. Yasser Balindong, Deputy Majority Leader and Pangasinan Rep. Christopher “Toff” 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 allied with Lakas-CMD include Tingog Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt Romualdez, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor, Ako Bisaya Rep. Sonny “SL” 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, Senior Citizens Rep. Franciso Datol Jr., 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 “Bong” Revilla Jr. is the Lakas-CMD chairman.