Over 100 non-politicians on Tuesday night took their oath as new members of Partido Liberal in Quezon City, marking the shift of the opposition party into a people’s party, the direction set by party president Sen. Kiko Pangilinan.

Partido Liberal chairperson Vice President Leni Robredo administered the oath to the new members who come mostly from the ranks of the academe, youth, professionals, and non-government organizations. She welcomed the new members and thanked them for going against the tide and joining a party being attacked as “dilawan” (of yellow, the color associated with the party).

“Alam naman po natin na mas madalas na kung nasaan ang agos ng tubig, nandun din lahat, pero kayo kontra sa agos (We know that often, people go with the flow, but you flow against),” she said.

“Alam ko po na alam na alam niyo kung ano yung pinapasukan niyo. Kaya kami ay saludo sa inyo. Saludo na di kayo natatakot na kantiyawan na dilawan. Saludo kami na alam niyo na eto yung panahon na halos ayaw na may makasapi sa atin dahil tayo ay tinutuligsa, pinapamukha sa publiko na masasama, pero kayo ay nanalig, nagtiwala na eto ang partido na may matibay na pinaglalaban (I know that you know fully well what you are doing. We salute you because you are not afraid to be called yellow, because you know that these are the times that almost no one wants to join the party because we are always attacked and made to look bad in the eyes of the public. But you believe and trust that this is the party with firm principles),” she added.

The new batch of Partido Liberal members took on the challenge of the times to promote the values of liberalism and democracy.

“Ngayon ang pinakamaiging panahon para buhayin at palakasin at ibangon ang Partido Liberal dahil ang pamumuno ay salungat sa liberalismo, salungat sa demokrasya (Now is the best time to restore and strengthen the Liberal Party because the current leadership is against liberalism and democracy),” said batch representative lawyer Raffy Aquino.

“Itong Dutertismong sinasabi ay isang pamamaraan ng pamumuno na walang sinasambang limitasyon sa kapangyarihan, walang paggalang sa institusyon, walang pagtingin, pagsunod sa proseso, kasama na riyan ang karapatan at kalayaan na nasa Saligang Batas, na balewala sa ilalim ng pamumunong ito (This so-called Dutertism is a form of leadership that does not adhere to the limits of power, does not respect institutions, does not regard or follow processes, including the rights and freedoms in the Constitution, which is disregarded under this leadership),” he said.

When he took on the role as party president, Pangilinan said it needs “to go to the grassroots, engage with the marginalized sectors, and become a genuine people’s party.”

“Malinaw sa atin kung bakit ito mahalaga: Alam natin na ang tunay na pagbabago, ang mga solusyon sa mga mabibigat na problema ng bayan, ay wala sa iisang tao o wala sa iisang grupo o wala rin sa isang political elite kung hindi nasa kamay nating lahat, sa ating kolektibong lakas, sa sama-sama nating pagkilos kasama ang mga lider pulitiko na may tunay na malasakit sa bayan at ang mamamayan na tumataya, naninindigan, at kumikilos para sa tunay na pagbabago (We are clear on why this is important: We know that real change and solutions to the country’s deepest problems are not in the hands of one person or one group or one political elite, but in all our hands, in our collective strength, in our collective action together with political leaders with a real love of country and with people who are risking, taking a stand, and acting for real change),” he said.