Pangilinan, Belmonte stay on as LP leaders

Mara Cepeda
Pangilinan, Belmonte stay on as LP leaders
It takes the Liberal Party's leadership 4 months to issue the resolution affirming support for two of its key leaders who wanted to resign after the May elections

MANILA, Philippines – The Liberal Party leadership has rejected the resignation of Senator Francis Pangilinan as party president and Quezon City 6th District Representative Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte as LP secretary-general.

The LP National Executive Council (NECO) signed on Thursday, September 19, a resolution reaffirming their support for Pangilinan and Belmonte, as well as the other party leaders.  

“There was a NECO resolution reaffirming the party’s support for the current leadership, including myself and Cong Kit. It was adopted unanimously,” Pangilinan told Rappler. 

Pangilinan and Belmonte had resigned from their leadership posts days after the May midterm elections, as none of the senatorial candidates in the LP-led Otso Diretso slate won the race. 

The two LP officials claimed command responsibility for the opposition slate’s defeat. (READ: After tough loss in midterm polls, Otso Diretso has eyes set on 2022)

But Vice President Leni Robredo, LP chairperson, did not accept Pangilinan’s and Belmonte’s resignations. Her spokesperson had said that according to the Vice President, “much work remains to be done, and they will do it, together.”

It took the LP 4 months, however, before its leadership was able to decide on what to do with the resignations of its key leaders.

On Thursday, Pangilinan thanked his party mates for their continued support.

The LP president said the party will now consolidate the volunteer base it had forged during the polls and focus on cultivating more volunteers among the youth.  

The LP will also keep on recruiting more non-politicians, he added. (READ: Liberal Party now ‘listens’ to the people it once ignored)

“[We will] set up local chapters nationwide with emphasis on non-politicians. [We will also] beef up and sharpen our social media organization [and] further enhance our Makinig deep canvassing efforts to reach out to the common folk among others,” said Pangilinan. 

Like other ruling parties that lost its dominance after its standard bearer’s failed presidential bid, LP’s numbers dwindled after the 2016 elections.

Under Pangilinan’s leadership, LP started recruiting non-politician members in a bid to “professionalize” the party and reduce the influence of the elections on LP’s operations. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.