The Outside View
By Judge Panambulan M. Mimbisa (ret.)
The Lakas CMD or Lakas Christian – Muslim Democrats is a political party accredited to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. It was under this party in coalition or partnership with KAMPI that she ran and won the presidency in this is a political party created out of the Lakas NUCD – UMDP or National Union of Christian Democrats jointly headed by Senators Raul Manglapus and Manuel Manahan and the United Muslim Democrats of the Philippines founded by Ambassador Sanchez Ali, who was its first Chairman, Professor Ibrahim Mama-o, Mr. Jimmy Umag, Attorney, now Secretary Guiling Mamondiong, former Commissioner of Human Rights Nasser Marohomsalic, and this writer as its first Secretary-General.
History tells us that the NUCD – UMDP formalized their partnership during the convention held in Cebu in the year 2000 where a coalition agreement was forged and signed by the officials of the two political groups thus, officially coming into existence as the NUCD -UMDP respecting their full and respective identities in due deference to each socio-cultural background and orientation. By a stroke of political savvy and genius, then potential presidential candidate Department of National Defense Secretary Fidel V. Ramos conveyed a proposition to coalice his own political – party Lakas with the NUCD – UMDP which would serve as his political vehicle for the presidential election of 1992 and indeed it was and it had been that President Ramos ran and won the presidency under the political party.
After winning the elections of 1992 and upon assuming the presidency, a number of Muslim Democrats were awarded with positions in the government. UMDP Chairman Sanchez Ali was appointed Ambassador first to the Sultanate of Oman and later to the Arab Republic of Egypt. Gene Mamondiong was appointed Undersecretary in the Department of Transportation and Communication as head of Telop,
Atty Nasser Marohomaslic as Commissioner of Human Rights and this writer as Board Member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
The Lakas NUCD – UMDP continued to exist and operate as a political party during the entire term of office of President Fidel V. Ramos. However, sometime in the year 2000, then Former Senator Manglapus hosted a meeting between Senior Officials of the UMDP and Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in his office at the College Assurance Plan Building at Aroceros Street, Makati City principally to discuss two (2) points, one the possible appointments of Ambassador Ali with the Office of the Vice President and this writer with the Department of Social Welfare and Development which the Vice President heads as its Secretary and the other issue is the possible re-organization of the Lakas NUCD – UMDP and floating the idea of accommodating KAMPI, the political party of the Vice President thus, precipitating the idea of a merged political party of Lakas – KAMPI CMD.
For one reason or another, my and Ambassador Ali’s appointments did not materialize but the idea of re-organizing the Lakas NUCD – UMDP to Lakas CMD came began to roll into fruition and of course records bear that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo won the presidential elections in 2006 of under this new and re-organized political party.
The members of the UMDP or what is now simply known as the Muslim Democrats, under the re-organized Lakas CMD, welcome the affiliation of Mayor Inday Sara Duterte – Carpio to the party and her subsequent designation as its Chairman. You have our full and unflinching support Chairman and Mayor Inday Sara Duterte – Carpio. Your Muslim Democrats are not begging for grace, favor or kindness. We would like to simply ask that our contributions to the birth, evolution and status of prominence of our political party be acknowledged, recognized and counted. The founders and original members of the UMDP are both known to Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and we are here, strong and vibrant and ready as always to carry our banner to victory. PMM