Romualdez, Revilla are new Lakas chiefs

By Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2013 05:00 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2013 01:00 AM

MANILA - The Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) National Executive Committee unanimously elected Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez as its new president and Sen. Bong Revilla as its chairman.

In a press conference, Romualdez said the revamp in the top leadership of the party was caused by the resignation of Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman last year as vice chairman of the party.

He said the revamp is also aimed at revitalizing and strengthening Lakas-CMD, which was once the most dominant party during the Arroyo administration. 

Revilla said he and Romualdez will now call the shots in the party, with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo only acting as chairman emeritus and senior adviser. 

Romualdez and Revilla said the party intends to support 800-900 local candidates and will endorse a mixed senatorial slate in the forthcoming May elections.

They said Lakas-CMD endorsements will possibly be evenly split between the Liberal Party and the United Nationalist Alliance.

They said that the Lakas endorsement will come a month before the elections after consultations with local leaders. 

Revilla, who is being touted as a possible presidential bet in 2016, said Lakas CMD is ready to take off on it's own.

He said did not want to brand Lakas as an opposition party but as a party of the people. 

Revilla and Romualdez said Lakas will support good programs of the government but will not stop from criticizing bad policies and programs. 

Revilla said the party will concentrate on the 2013 elections before thinking of the 2016 elections. This was after he was asked if he sees Lakas as the "third force" in Philippine politics, with him as standard bearer for Lakas in the 2016 polls.

The senator said it is too early to talk of the 2016 elections.