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Strength in numbers: Lakas-CMD endorses Sara Duterte’s Senate bets

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

MANILA – The Lakas-Christian Muslims Democrats (Lakas-CMD) is eyeing a major comeback in the national political arena amid plans to endorse the senatorial slate of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party.

Lakas-CMD president and former Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said aside from detained former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, the Lakas-CMD would support the senatorial candidates of the Davao City mayor.

“We have a Senate slate. We will be supporting those also endorsed by the Hugpong Party,” said Romualdez.

Last week, Mayor Duterte revealed two separate Senate slate which her regional party will be supporting next year.

Among those included in the first list were Senator Cynthia Villar, Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa; Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christpher “Bong” Go; the rival siblings, Senator JV Ejercito and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada; and Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu.

Meanwhile, the second list which is exclusive to the Davao region almost has the same personalities, except for the inclusion of PDP-Laban President and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, LDP President and Senator Sonny Angara, and former GMA-7 broadcaster Jiggy Manicad.

Romualdez stressed that one of the 12 slots in Lakas’ slate was already reserved to Revilla, who is also the current chairman of the party while the remaining 11 will be given to those who were endorsed by the Hugpong party.

“Yung priority ng Hugpong na i-endorse, i-eendorse din natin (sa Lakas)… we will recommend and prioritize as well,” said Romualdez.