Senate President and PDP Laban President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III opened the week on Monday by inducting new members of PDP Laban from the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao.
Governor Hadjiman S. Hataman-Salliman led a delegation of one assemblyman, seven board members, 10 mayors, and seven vice-mayors from Basilan, Governor Rashidin Matba led eight mayors from Tawi-Tawi, while Lanao del Sur sent five mayors, one assemblyman, one councilor, and 11 businessmen to the simple ceremony that was also witnessed by the Presidential Adviser on OFW and Muslim Concerns, Secretary Abdullah Mamao.
"PDP Laban welcomes our Muslim brothers and sisters from ARMM. With greater representation in the ruling Party and the shift to Federalism, we hope reverse the neglect that they experienced from the past decades, paving the way for peace and development in the Bangsamoro region", said Pimentel.
Aside from the new members from ARMM, three mayors, one vice-mayor, 21 other local leaders from Oriental Mindoro, and four mayors, one vice-mayor, and 18 other local leaders from Occidental Mindoro were sworn in as members of PDP Laban on the same day.
Energy Secretary and PDP Laban Vice Chair Al Cusi said, "PDP Laban is now the best-represented political party in the Philippines both among elected officials and the grassroots membership in the provinces. This presence is our solid foundation for the shift to Federalism."
The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino, which joined with Lakas ng Bayan to form PDP Laban in 1983, was founded in 1979 in response to the perceived neglect of the countryside by the national government, which was focused on the development of the political center, Metro Manila.
Source: Senate of the Philippines