Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Lakas–CMD (1991)

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Founded  1991
Merged into  Lakas-Kampi-CMD
Dissolved  2008
Lakas–CMD (1991)

Leader  Fidel V. Ramos (1991–1998) Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (1998–2008)
Merger of  Partido Lakas ng Tao and National Union of Christian Democrats-United Muslim Democrats of the Philippines
Split from  Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino

Lakas-CMD (Lakas ng Tao-Christian Muslim Democrats), popularly known as Lakas, was a political party in the Philippines. Its ideology and that of its successor is heavily influenced by Christian and Islamic democracy. The party's influence on Philippine society is very evident, especially after the People Power Revolution, which has led the country to elect two presidents from the party, namely Fidel V. Ramos, a United Methodist, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a Roman Catholic.


In May 2009, Lakas-CMD merged with Arroyo's KAMPI thereby being known as Lakas Kampi CMD, a completely new entity. On May 2012, Lakas-Kampi renamed itself as Lakas-CMD.


Lakas-CMD has always focused on economic growth and development, stronger ties with the United States, creation of jobs, and strong cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of government. It is known for its advocacy of a shift from the present presidential system to a parliamentary form of government through constitutional amendments and through establishing peace talks with Muslim separatists and communist rebels. The party democracy is distinct in its ecumenical inclusion of Muslim leaders in its political alliance.

Early days and Ramos administration

Lakas ng Tao was formed in December 1991 for the 1992 elections as retired General, then-Defense Secretary, Fidel V. Ramos and former Cebu Governor Emilio Mario R. Osmeña were running for president and vice-president respectively. It was also formed when Ramos bolted from the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP; Struggle of Democratic Filipinos), after he had lost in the bid for the presidency under that said banner to Speaker Ramon Mitra.

The party was formed out of two parties: Ramos's Partido Lakas ng Tao (People Power Party) and the National Union of Christian Democrats (NUCD) of Raul Manglapus. As they coalesced, the party became known as Lakas ng Tao-National Union of Christian Democrats, with Lakas ng Tao usually just shortened to "Lakas" and abbreviated as Lakas-NUCD.

In 1994, it formed a coalition government with the LDP for the 1995 legislative elections. This coalition, dubbed the "Lakas-Laban Coalition", won a majority in both Houses of Congress. In the 1997 Lakas National Convention, the party nominated House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. of Pangasinan after a close nominal fight with then Defense Secretary Renato de Villa as its nominee to the presidency against the opposition's Vice President Joseph Estrada in the 1998 elections. By this time, it was joined by the United Muslim Democrats of the Philippines (UMDP) of Sanchez A. Ali to form Lakas ng EDSA-National Union of Christian Democrats-United Muslim Democrats of the Philippines (Lakas-NUCD-UMDP).

Secretary de Villa eventually bolted the party and formed Partido ng Demokratikong Reporma (Democratic Reform Party) for the 1998 elections. Lakas also nominated then-Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Pampanga as its candidate as vice president. Arroyo had originally intended to run for president under her party, Kabalikat ng Mamamayang Pilipino (KAMPI). De Venecia lost to Vice President Estrada by a significant plurality, while Arroyo won the vice presidency in the same manner while her KAMPI party was in hiatus.

Arroyo administration

In the 2004 elections, the name changed again to the current Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, or Lakas-CMD. However, the meaning of Lakas in the party name is usually now referred to as "Lakas ng EDSA" which means "The Strength of EDSA" than the original Lakas ng Tao which means "The Strength of the People" or "People Power." This is also the name that it used when it ran in 2004 elections under the K-4 coalition. President Arroyo, who succeeded the deposed President Joseph Estrada, was the K-4 Coalition candidate for president in the 2004 election, eventually winning over her opponents primarily Fernando Poe, Jr. and Senator Panfilo Lacson.

At the onset of 2006, Lakas-CMD was torn by factional rivalry between supporters of President Arroyo and supporters of former President Fidel V. Ramos. Issues include transitory provisions in a proposed Constitution to scrap mid-term elections (or "no-el") set for 2007 and calls for her to step down in time for the elections, which is related to the "no-el" controversy. The party held its Annual Party Directorate Meeting on January 14, 2006 to discuss these matters.

There are no official results available of the 2007 elections released by the party but according to the Philippine House of Representatives, the party holds 79 out of 235 seats.

On January 16, 2008, Lakas spokesman and legal counsel Raul Lambino stated that Lakas-CMD officially released the list of senatorial bets for 2010—spokesman in 2010. Except for Parañaque Representative Eduardo Zialcita, they were not yet identified. But Lambino named incumbent Senators Ramon Revilla, Jr. and Lito Lapid, former senator Ralph Recto and former Congressman Prospero Pichay as among those considered.

De Venecia resignation

Former Speaker of the House Jose de Venecia, Jr. (Pangasinan -4th District) resigned his post as president of Lakas-CMD on March 10, 2008; he rejected the proposition of former president Fidel Ramos to give him the title Chairman-emeritus. The current Speaker of the House Prospero Nograles (Davao -1st District) was sworn it as the new president of Lakas-CMD party and former Speaker of the house Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. as vice president for Metro Manila affairs on the same day.

Merger with KAMPI

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on June 18, 2008, confirmed the historical merger of the Lakas-Christian-Muslim-Democrats (Lakas-CMD) and the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) parties. Both parties adopted the “equity of the incumbent” principle, as the merger will account for almost 200 national and 8,000 local officials, amid Mrs. Arroyo's prediction of 2010 elections victory. Prospero Nograles, Lakas president and Kampi Chair Ronaldo Puno signed the covenant at the Davao City regional caucus. Former President and Lakas-CMD Chairman Emeritus Fidel V. Ramos announced on February 6, 2008 that Lakas-CMD would be the surviving entity after its merger with KAMPI.

On August 9, 2009, Pangasinan Representative and Former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. and Former President Fidel V. Ramos led fifty members from the Lakas Kampi CMD in objecting to its merger with Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI) on May 28, 2009. The faction made de Venecia its President with Ramos as the Chairman Emeritus of the new party, Ramos refused the offer of Chairman Emeritus of Lakas-Kampi after being named in interim party organization. De Venecia has filed a resolution at the Commission on Elections to declare null and void the merger. However, the Supreme Court ultimately upheld the legality of the merger, citing the failure of de Venecia “to sufficiently show that any grave abuse of discretion was committed by the [Commission on Elections] in rendering the challenged resolution.”


*in coalition with LDP

House of Representatives

*does not include candidates who ran as under a Lakas-NUCD-UMDP ticket along with another party.
**in coalition with LDP.


Lakas put up a full senatorial slate during the May 11, 1998 national elections, as it propels the machinery of its candidates House Speaker Jose de Venecia and Senator Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the presidency and vice presidency respectively against the Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino (Struggle of Patriotic Filipino Masses) coalition of the opposition led by Vice President Joseph Estrada and Senator Edgardo Angara.

Lakas-CMD gained 5 out of 12 possible seats in the Senate namely: (in order of votes received)

  • Loren Legarda
  • Renato Cayetano
  • Robert Barbers
  • Ramon Revilla Sr.
  • Teofisto Guingona Jr. (appointed vice-president in 2001)
  • 2010

    For the May 10, 2010 Elections, despite being the dominant majority party, Lakas-Kampi-CMD fielded only six candidates.

    Only re-electionist senators Bong Revilla, Jr. and Lito Lapid won. Revilla was able to garner 19,513,521 votes, setting the record for most number of votes received by any candidate for any position in any Philippine election.


    Lakas-CMD had coalesced with other parties in the past elections, enabling it to strengthen its political power both in the national and local levels:

  • Miriam-Bongbong party, most of its members are running for senator under Lakas with support by either Santiago or Marcos.
  • Lakas-Kampi-CMD, the dominant majority party in the 2010 national elections.
  • TEAM Unity, the name of the pro-Arroyo coalition in the 2007 midterm elections.
  • Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan (K-4, Coalition of Truth and Experience for the Future), the name of the pro-Arroyo coalition in the 2004 national elections.
  • People Power Coalition, the name of pro-Arroyo coalition in the 2001 midterm elections.
  • Lakas-Laban Coalition, the name of the pro-Ramos coalition in the 1995 midterm elections.
  • Notable members

  • Fidel V. Ramos (12th President of the Philippines; Chairman Emeritus and Former Party Chairman; co-founder)
  • Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (14th President of the Philippines; current party chairperson and concurrently chairperson emeritus of her mother party Kampi)
  • Teofisto Guingona, Jr. (vice president; former party president)
  • Raul Manglapus (senator; co-founder)
  • Renato Cayetano (senator)
  • Jose de Venecia Jr. (Speaker of the House of Representatives; former party president and co-founder)
  • Eduardo Ermita (executive secretary)
  • Juan Flavier (Secretary of Health; senator)
  • Bong Revilla, Jr. (senator; current party chairman and president)
  • References

    Lakas–CMD (1991) Wikipedia