The National Executive Council (NECO) of the Liberal Party on Thursday ratified the party presidency of Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and the party chairmanship of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
In the first official gathering of the party since the May 2016 presidential election, the council also ratified a resolution conferring the title of chairman emeritus to former President Benigno Aquino III.
At the UP University Hotel, the LP NECO members ratified Resolution 2017-01 ratifying the appointments of Sen. Pangilinan and Vice President Robredo “and granting full authority to the party president to appoint such other party officers and political organs and units.”
Despite the departure of many LP members from the party, Sen. Pangilinan, in his report as party president, said he chose to take up the LP presidency “not because of the certainty of victory, but because of the certainty of our conviction.”
Sen. Pangilinan enumerated his dreams and plans for the party and the Philippines, including the rebuilding of a genuine people’s party, infusing the party with “new blood” from the academe, basic sectors, civil society organizations, entrepreneurs, the religious and faith-based sectors, arts and culture, and women.
“Sa krisis, sinasabi nila, nariyan din ang oportunidad. At narito tayo humaharap sa oportunidad na palakasin ang ating partido upang maging tunay na partido ng taumbayan,” he said.
Sen. Leila De Lima, detained of false drug charges, sent her message to the NECO: “I am proud to be Yellow… Kikilalanin pa rin ang LP bilang tunay na partido ng liberalismo, ng prinsipyo, at ng mga Pilipinong nagmamalasakit sa kapwa Pilipino.”
Sen. Bam Aquino, who read Sen. De Lima’s message: “This is really an opportunity…It would allow us to focus, to provide more attention — mas mabigyang pansin ang pag-angat ng mga nasa may laylayan ng lipunan. Tayo po, nasa laylayan ng pulitika. Nakiki-isa po tayo.”
Among those who attended the meeting included Senators Frank Drilon and Bam Aquino; former LP presidents Mar Roxas, Butch Abad, and Wigberto Tanada; Representatives Kit Belmonte, Nene Sato, Teddy Baguilat, Edcel Lagman, Raul Daza, Bolet Banal, and former House Speaker Sonny Belmonte.