The Liberal Party of the Philippines held its National Executive Council meeting today, September 28, via conference.
The National Executive Council meeting – or NECO – is an annual gathering where members of the Liberal Party collectively set Party goals and directions for the next year. Party leaders Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Sen. Franklin M. Drilon, Rep. Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte, former Reps. Teddy Baguilat and Erin Tañada, and several elected officials were in attendance.
Though still detained, Sen. Leila de Lima also gave the Party short message delivered by her Chief of Staff Atty. Fhillip Sawali.
Aquino, Pangilinan, de Lima among initial senatorial candidates
First on the meeting’s agenda was the formal nomination of former Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV and re-electionists Sen. Pangilinan and Sen. De Lima as among the Party’s initial list of senatorial candidates. Former Sen. Aquino is yet to announce plans to file for candidacy as Senator.
LP also passed a resolution endorsing Akbayan Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Atty. Chel Diokno as part of its initial list of guest senatorial candidates, citing them as “candidates from outside [LP’s] ranks, who are aligned with its principles and values and as such are reliable partners in advancing its program of government.”
The LP also expressed its support for Robredo’s ongoing efforts to create the broadest possible coalition to present an alternative brand of governance to the people. A third resolution was passed granting Robredo full authority and discretion in initiating talks and coming up with agreements, as well as identifying and assembling a united national slate of candidates for President, Vice President and Senators, “while respecting her preference on the elective position she may decide to run for, if any, with the full support by the Party as a whole.”
Since June, Robredo has repeatedly emphasized the need to consolidate all opposition forces and present a united front. In a message to supporters last week she said, “Tungkulin ko na sagarin ang lahat ng pwedeng sagarin… kausapin ang lahat ng dapat kausapin, magnilay at magdasal nang husto, at i-exhaust ang lahat ng possible avenues to present the best chances for better governance come 2022.” Robredo was present in the Zoom meeting and delivered a similar message to her party-mates.
The Party also passed a resolution honoring the life and legacy of the late President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III, remembering him as “a stalwart of liberal democracy and a staunch believer in people-centric, people-led governance… he valued freedom above all else, and sought first the Filipino people’s freedom from hunger, from poverty, from ignorance, and from insecurity, instituting massive interventions towards empowerment so that the Filipino may exercise the rest of their freedoms in a manner that is both enlightened and responsible.”
LP also resolved to “[stand] as vanguard to his legacy, which no amount of disinformation, trolling, and historical distortionism should be able to diminish.” Though he spent his post-Malacañang days largely out of the public eye, Aquino remained close at work with Party leadership as LP’s Chairman Emeritus since 2016.