By Mario Casayuran
The opposition Liberal Party (LP) is ready to take on the Duterte administration as the 2019 mid-term election approaches.
This came as over 100 non-politicians took their oath last Tuesday as new members of Partido Liberal in Quezon City, marking the shift of the opposition party into a people’s party, the direction set by party president Sen. Francis Pangilinan.
Panglinan recalled that when he took the role as LP president, the party needed to go the grassroots, engage with the marginalized sectors and become a genuine people’s party.
“We are clear on why this is important. We know that real change and solutions to the country’s deepest problems are not in the hands of one person or one group or one political elite, but in all our hands, in our collective strength, in our collective action together with political leaders with a real love of country and with people who are risking, taking a stand, and acting for real change,’’ he explained.
The party is thus ready to take on challenges of the times, he added.
Vice President Leni Robredo, Partido Liberal chairperson, administered the oath to the new members who come mostly from the ranks of the academe, youth, professionals, and non-government organizations. The new batch of Partido Liberal members took on the challenge of the times to promote the values of liberalism and democracy.
‘’Now is the best time to restore and strengthen the Liberal Party because the current leadership is against liberalism and democracy),” said batch representative lawyer Raffy Aquino.
‘’This so-called Dutertism is a form of leadership that does not adhere to the limits of power, does not respect institutions, does not regard or follow processes, including the rights and freedoms in the Constitution, which is disregarded under this leadership,” he said.
Robredo welcomed the new members and thanked them for going against the tide and joining a party being attacked as “dilawan” (or yellow, the color associated with the party).
‘’We know that often, people go with the flow, but you flow against),” Robredo said.
‘’I know that you know full well what you are doing. We salute you because you are not afraid to be called yellow, because you know that these are the times that almost no one wants to join the party because we are always attacked and made to look bad in the eyes of the public. But you believe and trust that this is the party with firm principles,” she added.
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