MANILA - Former President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP-Laban has lost more congressmen to House Speaker Martin Romualdez's Lakas-CMD.
A press release from the Speaker's office identified former PDP-Laban lawmakers Reps. Rosemarie Conejos Panotes (Camarines Norte, 2nd District), Dale B. Corvera (Agusan del Norte, 2nd District), and Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy (Caloocan City, 2nd Distirct) taking their oath as Lakas-CMD members before Romualdez.
They were joined by San Jose Del Monte City Mayor Arturo Robes, who was also from the PDP-Laban, and Rep. Lordan G. Suan (Cagayan de Oro, 1st District) who was from the Nacionalista Party.
The transfer brought Lakas-CMD's strength in the House of Representatives to 86 members.
“Our heartfelt welcome to our new members. We are delighted and excited to have you on board. With your exceptional skills, experience, and dedication, we look forward to the unique contributions and perspectives you will bring to Lakas-CMD to help the Marcos administration champion people’s interests,” Romualdez said in a statement.
“Your commitment to serving the Filipino people will play a major role in the continued success of Lakas-CMD and positively impact our constituents nationwide. We will support and take care of you, and please do not hesitate to reach out to the party leadership,” he added.
Romualdez administered the oath-taking in rites at the Social Hall of the Office of the Speaker at Batasan Complex in Quezon City.
Earlier, Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” D. Gonzales Jr., Pampanga Rep. Carmelo “Jon” B. Lazatin II, Siquijor Rep. Zaldy S. Villa, Nueva Ecija 1st District Rep. Mikaela Angela Suansing, Parañaque City 1st District Rep. Edwin L. Olivares, Pasay City Lone District Rep. Antonino G. Calixto, Zamboanga del Norte 2nd District Rep. Glona G. Labadlabad, and Cebu 2nd District Rep. Eduardo Roa Rama Jr. also joined Lakas-CMD.
Gonzales, Lazatin, Villa, Olivares, Calixto, Labadlabad, and Rama also came from the PDP-Laban while Suansing was a former NP member.
Rep. Johnny Pimentel, who is PDP Laban Vice President, earlier said at the end of political realignments, the party may be left with 4-5 members.
Pimentel attributed the transfers to realignments ahead of every election period, as well as the tension between Duterte and the House over the confidential funds of Vice-President Sara Duterte.
Pimentel recalled that at the height of the PDP Laban's power, it had 120 congressmen during the 17th Congress under then President Duterte.