“LOVE IS LOVELIER THE SECOND TIME AROUND”, Matugas rejoins Liberal Party

Reelected Representative Francisco Matugas (1st District, Surigao del Norte) recently found himself home again after he took an oath of allegiance as a member of the Liberal Party (LP) together with Representative Guillermo Romarate, Jr. (2nd District, Surigao del Norte), another reelected solon, in simple ceremonies held at the Liberal Party Headquarters in Quezon City, Metro Manila, on July 21, 2010.

The adage “Love is lovelier the second time around” has proven itself true with Matugas’ homecoming to President Noynoy Aquino’s political party of which he was a pioneering member representing the province of Surigao del Norte. He was recently invited to rejoin the group by LP Chairman Sen. Franklin Drilon, LP President Mar Roxas, LP Secretary-General Florencio “Butch” Abad, former Bukidnon Congressman Neric Acosta including President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

It was in 2004 when Cong. Matugas took his first oath as LP member together with more than a hundred local political leaders in simple ceremonies held in the town of General Luna, Surigao del Norte, the country’s surfing capital. They were sworn in as LP members by Sen. Franklyn Drilon, while then Senator Noynoy Aquino and former Congressman Butch Abad witnessed the occasion.

In 2007, when the local elections were then approaching, Matugas tendered his formal resignation from LP citing as reason his intention to join the KAMPI party of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Senator Franklyn Drilon who was LP President at that time refused to accept Matugas’ resignation but still allowed him to affiliate with KAMPI. He even foretold the former of his return to their party.

As it turned out, Sen. Franklin Drilon’s prediction proved prophetic with the recent homecoming of Cong. Francisco Matugas to the Liberal Party.

News of Matugas’ return to the Liberal Party spread like wildfire and drew positive reactions from the local peasant, education, business and religious sectors which were all supportive of the lawmaker’s legislative agenda on agriculture, aqua-culture, education, entrepreneurship, spiritual renewal and many others.

The local chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines headed by Bacuag Mayor Shiela Mae Orquina-Cebedo likewise expressed optimism that the two reelected solons’ affiliation with the LP would translate to widespread development and progress for all the 20 towns and one city of Surigao del Norte.

“We warmly welcome the latest membership of Cong. Lalo Matugas and Cong. Jun Romarate in the Liberal Party because we know the main reason or consideration in their minds is the general welfare of all Surigaonons. As members of the Partido Padajon Surigao, we, the mayors, have strong faith in the tested leadership of these two pillars of our province. We are all ready to follow in their footsteps and convert ourselves into LP – taking into consideration also the welfare of our respective constituencies,” Cebedo stressed during an exclusive interview.

Partido Padajon Surigao is the first and only local political party accredited and recognized by the COMELEC in Caraga Region. It is founded by Cong. Francisco Matugas who sits in as party chairman, while Cong. Guillermo Romarate, Jr. serves as its party president.

During the just-concluded May 2010 elections, the said political party captured the governor, vice-governor, city mayor and city vice-mayor seats including all mayoralty positions in twenty towns of Surigao del Norte. It also controlled the majority in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, city council and municipal councils of the province. (Jun Lira and Jun Parada, Caraga Aksyon Balita)

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