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Liberal Party cannot be trusted

His free ticket to a seat in the legislature aborted, Macapagal resumed his opposition to the Marcos administration.



Although Vice President Leni Robredo is running for president as an “independent,” she is to all intents and purposes the standard bearer of the moribund and discredited Liberal Party (LP) in the 2022 elections.

Moribund and discredited, indeed, because no politician who seriously hopes to win in the coming elections will want to be associated with it.

With Senator Franklin Drilon opting for political retirement next year, the LP’s remaining stragglers are Senator Risa Hontiveros, who loves to grandstand; Senator Leila de Lima, who remains detained on account of drug-related criminal cases; and Senator Francis Pangilinan, who is running for vice president against his own uncle-in-law, Senate President and ex-comedian Tito Sotto.

Pangilinan is running with Robredo. Like Robredo, Pangilinan has adopted the color pink as their tandem’s political hue. This is obvious from the “Leni-Kiko” pink posters that can be occasionally seen in some pro-LP commercial establishments in Metro Manila.

Robredo herself tacitly admits that LP politicians such as ex-Senator Bam Aquino, who lost his reelection bid in 2019, are managing her campaign.

Against that backdrop, there is no doubt that Robredo and Pangilinan are the LP bets for president and vice president, respectively.

It is also obvious that they ditched the color yellow, long associated with the LP, for pink, to avoid being identified with their moribund and discredited political party.

If Robredo and Pangilinan are not honest enough to openly admit their connection to the LP, then voters should not trust them with high public office. Their condescending assumption that the voters will not see through their political charade should be “rewarded” with total defeat at the polls.

The historical record shows that the LP can never be trusted.

After the Philippines won its independence from the United States of America in 1946, the newly-elected President Manuel Roxas mortgaged the benefits of independence by consenting to the grant of parity rights to Americans even after 1946. Those parity rights were enforced by an ordinance appended to the 1935 Constitution.

Parity rights allowed Americans to enjoy the same rights and privileges of Filipino citizens in commerce and industry in the Philippines. Those rights also allowed Americans to practice their professions in the country.

Roxas was elected president under the LP banner, and is considered the father of the LP. He died of cardiac arrest in 1948.

President Diosdado Macapagal is another big name in the LP. After he lost his reelection bid to President Ferdinand Marcos in 1965, Macapagal styled himself as a staunch opponent of the Marcos regime.

As the President of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, Macapagal managed to include a seemingly innocuous paragraph in the transitory provisions of the draft constitution. That paragraph guaranteed Macapagal a seat in the interim National Assembly, the unicameral legislature created in the draft charter. It was obviously Macapagal’s free ticket to a seat in the legislature.

In 1972, when the final draft of what was to become the 1973 Constitution was finished by the constitutional convention, Macapagal himself went to Malacañang to personally hand over copies of the draft charter to Marcos. A photograph of Macapagal shaking hands and smiling with Marcos during the turnover is available online.

Marcos, however, discovered Macapagal’s self-serving scheme. A referendum in 1976 authorized Marcos to replace the interim National Assembly created by Macapagal’s constitutional convention with an interim Batasang Pambansa.

His free ticket to a seat in the legislature aborted, Macapagal resumed his opposition to the Marcos administration.

At the height of the campaign for the 2019 senatorial derby, LP candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II abandoned his running mates and began campaigning for himself. Roxas and the rest of his Otso Diretso ticket lost miserably in that election. It’s no wonder that one of those Otso Diretso candidates abandoned the LP and is now running for senator under a different party.

The LP cannot be trusted, and that observation applies to the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem.