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MANILA, Philippines -- Confident it still has the clout, the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party said it has no plans to enter alliances or mergers with other parties for next year’s midterm elections and will agree to “only reciprocity.”
"No mergers, no alliances, only reciprocity,” House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Lakas vice-chairman, said in a phone interview ahead of a meeting of the party to discuss preparations for the polls.
“This means that we will agree if, for example, UNA adopts (Zambales Representative) Mitos Magsaysay as their candidate, in the same manner, we may adopt some UNA candidates, too," Suarez said, referring to the United Nationalist Alliance, the coalition formed by former President Joseph Estrada’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino and Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban.
Despite its dwindling numbers in the House of Representatives, Suarez predicted Lakas-CMD would make a strong showing in the 2013 elections because of its strength on the local level.
"Next to the Liberal Party, I think we have the most number of elected officials locally," he said.
Lakas president Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. will preside over the meeting, at which a council of leaders will be formed to select the new chairman, a position that has remained vacant following the resignation of Albay Representative Edcel Lagman.
Lagman quit after he was replaced as Minority Leader by Suarez.