The Liberal Party officially announced on Tuesday, September 25, the first three candidates it would be fielding in the 2019 senatorial elections.
Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada III and Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno will lead the LP slate, carrying on the legacy of their elders, who were all known freedom fighters and noble statesmen.
“Kakaibang mga pulitiko, kakaibang mga pagkatao, may paninindigan, may paggalang, may isang salita. May epektibong pinuno at lingcod-bayan na magbibigay pag-asa, magbibigay solusyon, magbibigay tagumpay,” Senator Francis Pangilinan, LP president, said of the LP candidates at the party’s National Executive Council meeting in Quezon City.
Aquino, who is currently serving his first term in the Senate until 2019, is the nephew of former President Benigno Aquino III. Tanada, a former congressman, is the son of former Senator Wigberto Tanada and grandson of the late Sen. Lorenzo Tanada. Diokno, chairman of the Free legal Assistance Group, is the son of the late Senator Jose “Pepe” Diokno.
LP vows to coalesce with like-minded parties and groups to complete its slate for next year’s election.
Vice President Leni Robredo, former President Noynoy Aquino, and other LP stalwarts led the participants in the NECO meeting.
“Iyong tatlong pangalan na pinakilala ngayong umaga ay nagpakita ng kahusayan, katatagan ng paniniwala at pagkatao, at dignidad sa panunugkulan, tatlong pangalang galing sa mga pamilyang nagpamalas ng kabayanihan,” Robredo, who is also LP’s chairperson, said.
“Hindi nila minana ang posisyon . . . ang tanging minana ay ang magandang pangalan ng mga nauna sa kanila,” she added.
Former President Aquino said that when asked about the condition of the nation today, he could only say it was the opposite picture of what he had left when his term ended in 2016.
“Baligtad nung panahon ko, iyon lang,” the former chief executive said in his speech.
He added, “Kung ayaw natin ang nangyayari sa kasalukyan, ‘di pwedeng boboto lang tayo. ‘Di pwedeng iyong basta nakaboto na, okay na. Kailangan manindigan tayo, siguraduhin nating iyong good ang papasok.”
Tanada said he would be the voice of the youth and the marginalized. Diokno said his mission would be to ensure that Filipinos will have access to justice.
“Ang aking misyon ay tiyakin na binibigay ng gobyerno sa Pilipino ang katarungang sagisag ng pagiging malaya. . . . Panahon na para gawing agendang pambansa ang hustisya,” Diokno said.
Aquino talked about the three Ls that he said the LP espouses — Laylayan, Laban and Love.
He said the marginalized or those in the fringes of society (laylayan) need help as they face the high prices of goods, lack of jobs and unsafe environment. In the midst of hatred on social media, Aquino said what the people need is love for the country and for one another.
The senator said the LP would continue to fight (laban) for the rights of the people, especially the poor, for decent lives and better future.
Pangilinan rallied the LP members nationwide to ensure the victory of the LP candidates.
“The old, tired ways will not do and must be discarded. We must be willing to do things differently. We must be willing to try and test new methods never employed before. We must be willing to rise to dare, to change the way we do things if we are to inspire our citizens to purposeful action,” he said.
“The choice is clear before us is clear. We either inspire our citizens to act or be rendered irrelevant and obsolete,” Pangilinan added.