MANILA -- A total of 72 officials from Maguindanao and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) have joined the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
The contingent, led by Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu, were inducted into the ruling party by PDP-Laban national president and Senate President Aquilino Koko Pimentel III in oath-taking rites held at the Golden Bay Seafood Restaurant along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard on Tuesday.
Joining Mangudadatu were 20 Armm Assemblymen led by Speaker Ronnie Sinsuat, Maguindanao Vice Governor Lester Sinsuat, 12 board members, 26 mayors, and 13 vice mayors.
Pimentel said it is not surprising that Maguindanao officials joined PDP Laban.
The Party was born in Mindanao and has consistently advocated Federalism. PDP-Laban is the natural party of those that have been marginalized by the unitary system of government," Pimentel said.
PDP-Laban is now the largest political party in the country, counting among its members not just the leaders and representatives of most of the country's provinces and cities, but also thousands of ordinary people who believe in the Party's goal of change.
In addition to its unprecedented representation in the grassroots, PDP Laban also boasts of close relationships with established political parties in other countries, such as the Communist Party of China and United Russia.
In the meantime, the 72 Mindanao officials may well be among the last batches of politicians to be inducted into the party as Pimentel declared that PDP-Laban will be closing its doors to "political" members by the end of February.
However, the Party's doors will remain open to people who have no plans of running for office, Pimentel said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency