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Matugas-Romarate tandem finds home in Liberal Party

The formidable tandem of Cong. Francisco Matugas and Cong. Guillermo Romarate, Jr. recently found a new home after they finally accepted several invitations to join President Noynoy Aquino's powerhouse Liberal Party and were eventually sworn in as members.

The duo took their oath of allegiance as new members before Senator Franklin Drilon, Liberal Party Chairman, on July 21, 2010 in simple ceremonies held at the LP Headquarters in Quezon City, Metro Manila.

They were invited to join LP by no less than LP Chairman Sen. Franklin Drilon, LP President Mar Roxas, LP Secretary General Butch Abad, Cong. Sonny Belmonte, former Bukidnon Representative Neric Acosta and President Noynoy Aquino himself.

It was actually a happy homecoming for Cong. Francisco Matugas because it was his second time to be sworn in as LP member - the first one happened in 2004 in the town of General Luna, Surigao del Norte, together with more than a hundred local political leaders loyal to him. They were sworn in as LP members by Sen. Franklin Drilon in the presence of then Congressmen Noynoy Aquino and Butch Abad.

Congressman Francisco Matugas is the founding president of the Partido Padajon Surigao, while Congressman Guillermo A. Romarate, Jr. is the chairman of the same which is considered the most dominant local political party in Caraga Region for having captured all elective executive positions in Surigao del Norte in the recent May 2010 elections.

The two former stalwarts of Lakas-Kampi-CMD had a heart-to-heart talk with former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo before they decided to accept the invitations from LP.

The two Surigao Norte congressmen made their final decision to join LP after a consensus meeting with 20 municipal mayors of the province on Monday, July 19, 2010, resulted to a unanimous approval of their proposed change of allegiance.

Matugas disclosed their intention in joining LP was to unify themselves with the President for the same would surely translate to development and progress of all twenty towns and one city of the province.

The Matugas-Romarate membership to LP had earned positive reactions from concerned constituents in the province.

Random multi-sectoral interviews conducted revealed that Surigaonons were optimistic that the affiliation of the two lawmakers with LP will eventually redeem the image of the currently-stigmatized province of Surigao del Norte (for being in the league of the ten poorest provinces in the country) into Ang Bag-ong Surigao (The New Surigao) with the expected downpour of developmental projects and financial aids from Malacañang.

Ang Bag-ong Surigao is the battle-cry of Govenor Sol Matugas, wife of Cong. Francisco Matugas, and the same is adopted as the official slogan of the Partido Padajon Surigao.

In the said LP oath-taking ceremony, the two solons from Surigao del Norte were joined by Congressman Florencio Garay (2nd District, Surigao del Sur) and Congresswoman Angel Amante-Matba (1st District, Agusan del Norte) who also took their oath as new members. (Roel Catoto)

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