By Rjhay E. Laurea
MANILA — Vice President Sara Z. Duterte personally witnessed the oathtaking of three more lawmakers from Davao Region-based Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party who joined the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) on Tuesday (July 19).
Duterte, who founded the HNP regional party, is the current chairperson of Lakas-CMD. Former party chairman Sen. Ramon Revilla, Jr., was also present during the ceremony.
Aside from the three lawmakers from the Davao Region, two others, one from Camarines Norte and one in Maguindanao also took their oath before Lakas-CMD president and incoming House Speaker Martin Romualdez who was the ceremony’s inducting officer.
“Atin pong nasaksihan ngayong hapon ang panunumpa nina Davao City 2nd District Rep. Vincent Garcia, 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab, Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Alan Dujali, Rep. Josefina Tallado ng Camarines Norte (1st District) at Rep. Sittie Shahara Mastura ng Maguindanao (1st District) bilang mga bagong miyembro ng Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) [We witnessed the oathtaking of Davao City 2nd District Rep. Vincent Garcia, 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab, Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Alan Dujali, Rep. Josefina Tallado of Camarines Norte (1st District) and Rep. Sittie Shahara Mastura of Maguindanao (1st District) as new members of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD)],” Duterte confirmed on her Facebook post.
Local officials including former Surigao del Norte Governor Francisco Matugas, together with 10 mayors from Siargao Island and the abovementioned province also took their oath as new members of the party.
“We await, with great expectations, opportunities for engaging and bonding with them and the rest of our membership. We hope they will have an enjoyable and fruitful engagement with us,” Romualdez said.
“I am happy and very much honored to join Lakas-CMD Party. I fervently share Lakas-CMD’s support for unity, peace and progress, and I am inspired to join them in their effort to take on the difficult challenge of steering our country towards economic recovery and working for improved welfare of the Filipino people,” Ungab said in a separate statement.
The additional members this week hiked Lakas-CMD’s party’s House membership in 19th Congress to 64.
Last week, several lawmakers joined the party, including Representatives Joey Sarte Salceda of Albay, Rachel Arenas of Pangasinan, Paul Ian Dy of Isabela, Maria Vanessa Aumentao of Bohol, and Claude Bautista of Davao Occidental, who is president of HNP, the regional party founded by Duterte. (ai/mtvn)