Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan. JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO
The once-powerful Liberal Party (LP) appointed on Thursday Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan as party president and Vice Presidency Leni Robredo as its chair.
In its first official gathering since the 2016 elections, LP’s National Executive Council (Neco) ratified Resolution 2017-01, which grants Pangilinan the full authority to “appoint such other party officers and political organs and units.”
Pangilinan said he took on the position despite the exodus of members from the party “not because of the certainty of victory, but because of the certainty of our conviction.”
The senator said one of his plans for the party is to rebuild LP as a “genuine people’s party” by infusing it with “new blood” from different sectors such as the academe, civil society, entrepreneurs, the religious, arts and culture, and women.
“Sa krisis, sinasabi nila, nariyan din ang oportunidad. At narito tayo humaharap sa oportunidad na palakasin ang ating partido upang maging tunay na partido ng taumbayan [In times of crisis, they say, there are opportunities. We are here now facing the opportunity to strengthen our party to become the real party of the people],” he said.
Detained Senator Leila de Lima, in a message read by Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, said she is “proud to be yellow.”
“I am proud to be Yellow… Kikilalanin pa rin ang LP bilang tunay na partido ng liberalismo, ng prinsipyo, at ng mga Pilipinong nagmamalasakit sa kapwa Pilipino (LP still remains as the true party of liberalism, of principle, of the Filipinos who are devoted to fellow Filipinos).”
Neco also conferred the title of chairman emeritus to former President Benigno Aquino III.
LP was the ruling party under President Aquino until significant number of members switched to President Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban right after the 2016 elections.
Brothers former Energy chief Carlos Jericho and Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla were the latest high-profile LP members who left the party for the now-reigning PDP-Laban.
READ: Petilla brothers of Leyte abandon Liberal Party
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