Vice President Leni Robredo officially chaired the Liberal Party (LP) during an unannounced meeting between its leaders on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.
The vice president’s defeated running mate Mar Roxas said the party needed to rebuild itself and focus on non-hierarchical campaigns, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. told the Inquirer.
The meeting was held at the University Hotel within the University of the Philippines-Diliman grounds. Attendees formally elected VP Robredo as the party chairperson, along with Sen. Francis Pangilinan as LP president, and former President Benigno Aquino III, who was absent from the meeting, as their chairman emeritus.
Baguilat said the meeting was “low-key” given the political climate and due to the reduced numbers of their political party. Other LP loyalists attended the meeting, including Sen. Franklin Drilon (LP vice chair), Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato (LP treasurer), as well as Representatives Edcel Lagman of Bicol and Raul Daza of Northern Samar.
“It’s quite telling that from a big hotel, we’re now having a meeting at the University Hotel,” said Baguilat.
Despite this seeming setback, Roxas told the party to keep their spirits high, noting that even though they lost the recent elections, the party still remained in a good fighting position.
Rep. Baguilat added that a recent Pulse Asia survey revealed that many people still trust the LP.
“We believe we remain a critical force on certain issues like martial law,” Baguilat said.
Robredo’s staff, who regularly informs the press about her schedule, kept mum about the meeting. In VP Robredo’s speech, she encouraged current members to recruit new members preferably from the private sector. She said the LP needed “younger or new blood.”
Some anti-LP netizens couldn’t help but express their opinions regarding the LP’s low-key meeting.
“It’s hard to attract politicians now because you wouldn’t expect them to show their colors now,” Rep. Baguilat said, referring to President Duterte’s intense dislike of the Liberal Party.
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