SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Unlike the current administration, the Partido Liberal upholds truth, justice, and fear of God, said the farmers, Agtas, and people from various sectors who took their oath as new party members Friday evening here.
During the “world café” type discussion before the formal oath-taking at the Moderno Food Park, 170 soon-to-be members from the provinces of Tarlac, Bataan, Bulacan, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, and Pampanga were asked why they consider themselves liberal and why they are joining the party at the invitation of party leaders led by its president Senator Francis Pangilinan.
Their answers include:
“Liberal ako dahil ako ay naninindigan sa katotohanan, katarungan at higit sa lahat, may takot sa Diyos. Yan po ay mga katangian na wala ang kasalukuyang administrasyon (I am liberal because I believe in truth and justice, and most of all, have fear of God. These traits are absent in the present administration).”
“Syempre po ang Partido Liberal, ito po yung makatotohanang partido na talagang ang adhikain ay mapaunlad yung mamamayan, mapaunlad yung sambayanan (Of course Partido Liberal is the party that really aims to improve the citizenry and the country).”
For his part, Pangilinan, in his message to the new members, exhorted the new members to invite more to join the party so that it is infused with new blood.
“Balikan natin ang taumbayan. Hikayatin nating tumaya at manindigan ang taumbayan. Sumama sa partido. Baguhin natin ang palakad ng partido. Gawin nating tunay na partido ng taumbayan. Kunin natin ang mga mamamayan. Sila ang ating magiging lakas (Let us go back to the people. Let us convince them to place their bet on and believe in the people. Join the party. Change the way parties are run. Let us make this a genuine people’s party. Let us get common folk. They will be our strength).”
ON NEW TAXES AND CHARTER CHANGE
Former Quezon province congressman, Erin Tanada, who is also the party’s vice president for external affairs, told the new members that the party needs to confront the administration’s new taxes and efforts to change the Constitution.
“Tren talaga siya, at sinasagasaan na niya tayo. Oo, mataas nga ang take-home pay ng ilang mga manggagawa natin, pero binabawi din naman yun sa pagtaas ng mga bilihin (It’s like a train that’s running all over us. While the take-home pay of some of our workers may be higher, it is not enough to cover the higher cost of basic goods),” he said, referring to the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).
After enumerating the goods and services that have increased in cost (rice, fuel, electricity, tax stamps for birth and death certificates, PhilHealth and soon SSS monthly premiums), Tanada also criticized the administration-dominated House of Representatives for pushing for Charter change.
“Katiwa-tiwala ba itong mga kongresistang gustong magsulat ng bago nating Konstitusyon? Sila-silang nagpasa ng TRAIN na nagdulot ng mas maraming pasakit kaysa pampaginhawa? Sila-silang patuloy na pinapabagsak ang ating napakatapang na Chief Justice Sereno? Sila-silang mga kilalang pansariling interes? (Do we trust the congressmen to write a new Constitution? They who passed the TRAIN that is causing more harm than good? They who are trying to destroy Chief Justice Sereno? They who are after their own self-interest?).”
RISING TO THE CHALLENGE
To this challenge, Alfreda Sanchez (not her real name) from Victoria, Tarlac responded in behalf of this new batch of Partido Liberal: “Sa ngayon, wala na po tayong kakamping mga nasa hanay ng pulitiko. Palitan na po natin yan. Yan ang hiling ko sa Liberal. Wag na po natin sila tanggapin. Lubayan na po natin ang sistema ng balimbing sa ating partido (Right now, we don’t have a lot of support from politicians. Let’s change that. That is my request of the party. Let’s not accept them back. Let’s leave party-switching in our party).”
According to the records of the party’s National Organizing and Membership Committee, this latest batch of new Partido Liberal members were from the sectors of transport, women, youth, OFWs (overseas Filipino workers), professionals, farmers and fishers, business, and indigenous people.
Of the 170 that took their oath, 25 applied online through the party’s online recruitment platform partidoliberal.ph, which was launched January 19 at the party’s 72nd anniversary celebrated through oath-taking rites in Cebu, Naga, and Quezon City.