Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (File photo)

MANILA – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Thursday officially assumed the chairmanship of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).

During the party's national council meeting, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said Duterte, who is running for vice presidency in next year's elections, was elected chair of Lakas-CMD and will serve as "guiding light" of the political party.

“We are delighted and honored that Mayor Sara accepted the chairmanship of Lakas-CMD. We congratulate her for taking on this important role and we are confident that she will continue to inspire us more in working towards victory in the May 22 national elections,” Romualdez said during the hybrid ceremony attended by Lakas-CMD officials and members nationwide on Thursday.

Romualdez said there is no doubt that her leadership experience and heart for public service will lead Lakas-CMD to "greater heights and broader horizons in the coming months".

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., who was elected as party co-chair, offered the chairmanship to Duterte on Wednesday.

Lakas-CMD officials including Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo, Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter Wee Palma II, Quezon City Rep. Anthony Peter Crisologo, Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe, Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr., Negros Occidental Rep. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, Isabela Rep. Antonio Albano, Lanao del Sur Rep. Mamintal Adiong, Davao de Oro Rep. Way Kurat Zamora, and others expressed their full support to Duterte during the event.

“We thank Mayor Sara for her willingness to take on the challenge. The entire force of Lakas-CMD is in full support of her candidacy as we believe that she is the true epitome of an empowered woman capable of serving not just the party but our nation,” Romualdez said.

Duterte’s candidacy under Lakas-CMD filed by a representative on Nov. 13, was quickly followed by the announcement of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas that it is adopting her as the running mate of its standard-bearer, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

She added that her party asked for support for Marcos and for her VP bid but PDP-Laban refused. (PNA)