PASAY CITY/QUEZON CITY – The country’s new Congress is star studded.
This as actor Robinhood Robin Padilla leads the celebrities in the Senate while actor Richard Gomez leads those in the House of Representatives.
Padilla’s entry in the Upper Chamber of Congress raised the celebrities there to seven as he is joined by broadcaster and newly minted Sen. Rafael Raffy Tulfo. Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. (Jose Bautista in real life) and Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid are currently serving in the Senate while actor Sen. Jinggoy Estrada (Jose Pimentel Ejercito in real life). his half-brother Sen. Joseph Victor JV Ejercito, tele-evangelist and Sen. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva and broadcast journalist and Sen. Loren Legarda (Lorna Regina Bautista Legarda in real life) are returning in the Chamber which lost actor Senate President Vicente Sotto III and world boxing icon and Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao when their terms ended on June 30. Sotto ran for vice president while Pacquiao ran for president and both lost in the May 9 elections.
Among the first celebrities in the Philippine Congress were actor Senator Rogelio dela Rosa (whose real name is Regidor Lim dela Rosa) and his brother-in-law President Diosdado Pangan Macapagal, a zarzuela actor and poet, both of Lubao, Pampanga.
Congressman Richard Gomez served as mayor of Ormoc City in Leyte for three terms so he exchanged posts with his celebrity wife, Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez, who is now the mayor of the city.
Actor Arjo Atayde is a new congressman of Quezon City after he defeated reelectionist Rep. Onyx Crisologo in the city’s first congressional district.
Former basketball star Franz Pumaren also won in Quezon City 3rd congressional district.
Actor and former Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla is the new Cavite 1st District representative, joining her actress mother, Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla who is congresswoman for the lone district of Bacoor City.
Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla’s other son, Bryan, will also join the House as Agimat party-lis representative.
Actor and Rep. Dan Fernandez won again as the lone representative of Sta. Rosa City in Laguna; while Aiko Melendez’s boyfriend Jay Khonghun won again in first district of Zambales.
In Batangas, former swimmer Eric Buhain will join Congress.
Meanwhile, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) continues to beef up its ranks with a total of 52 members in the House of Representatives after two more lawmakers joined the party for the incoming 19th Congress.
In an oath-taking ceremony held at the Lakas-CMD headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, who serves as the Lakas-CMD president and is touted to be the next Speaker of the House, administered the oath to newly elected Bulacan Rep. Salvador Pleyto Sr. and Nueva Ecija Rep. Emeng Pascual as new party members.
“Our partners in our call for unity are growing by the day. This is no surprise since the just-concluded May elections showed everyone that the Filipino people prefer unity right now, with the stake as high as they are in order for our country to fully recover from the Covid-19 pandemic,” Romualdez said.
During the same event, nine lawmakers, who were already Lakas-CMD members, also formally took their ceremonial oath to further solidify the party.
They include Cebu Representatives Daphne Lagon and Edsel Galeos, Quezon Rep. David Suarez, Mandaue City Rep. Emmarie Ouano-Dizon, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Arnan Panaligan, Isabela Rep. Faustino Michael Carlos Dy III, Sarangani Rep. Steve Solon, Sultan Kudarat Rep. Princess Rihan Sakaluran, and Batangas Rep. Jinky Bitrics Luistro.
Romualdez noted the recent wave of oath-takings caused the members of Lakas to balloon from 27 to 52.
Lakas-CMD is one of the oldest and most respected political parties in the country. (Alfred Gabotfirstname.lastname@example.org)