PNoy to partymates: Look beyond 2016

Carmela Fonbuena
For the 2013 senatorial elections, however, the Liberal Party is reviewing a list that has grown to 32

ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL: LP counting on local politicians to deliver votes (Photo by: Benhur Arcayan / Malacañang Photo Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III is thinking about the Liberal Party’s survival beyond 2016. He said this is to ensure the sustainability of the programs that he and his administration has initiated.

Mr Aquino told 300 new LP recruits in Baguio City on Monday, June 25: “Sabi po sa akin, paano mo masisigurado na ang pagbabagong nangyayari ngayon ay magpapatuloy pagbaba mo sa puwesto…. Siyempre pagdating ng 2016, mister na po tayo. Kaya po ako nandito ngayon. Ang partido natin napakaraming pwedeng itayo at ibandilang mga taong nagpakatotoo sa kanilang pinangakuan,” the President said.

Nandito tayo lahat ngayon para masiguradong talagang matatag ang ating plataporma de gobyerno na maski mawala ho ako, mawala si Mar, mawala si Erin, wala na kaming lahat na nandito sa entablado, mayroon pa rin tunay na maglilingkod sa atin pong mga boss na hindi bukambibig lang,” he added.

(I’m constantly asked, how will I make sure that the changes I have initiated will continue after I step down from office? That’s why we have the party and its members. We need to continue building it. We’re here to make sure that our platform will last. Even in my absence or in the absence of Mar [Roxas] and Erin [Tañada], the party should continue serving the public beyond rhetoric.)

Kailangan namin kayo dito para makasiguradong hindi panandalian ito. Hindi temporary. Gawin nating permanent ang pag-angat ng Pilipino ang direksyon ng pagbabago,” he added. (We need your support to make sure that this will not be short-lived. Let’s make permanent our path to progress and change.)

Locals will deliver votes

SHOW OF FORCE: About 300 new LP members from CAR take their oath (Photo by: Benhur Arcayan / Malacañang Photo Bureau)

Aside from President Aquino, other LP stalwarts attended the oath-taking in Baguio City such as LP president Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, LP spokesperon Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, and executive vice president Jesse Robredo, who is also Interior and Local Government Secretary.

Growing LP’s membership on the ground is critical, said Tañada. “Because they will be the ones who will deliver the votes for the national candidates. We have to ensure that we elect enough members to complete the program of PNoy by 2016,” he said.

Tañada said LP members now control 30% to 35% of local positions.”Wala naman target. We’re looking for quality,” he said.

No Arroyo allies in 2013 slate

BEYOND 2016: President Aquino wants LP to reign beyond his term (Photo by: Benhur Arcayan / Malacañang Photo Bureau)

Tañada said LP is strictly screeening its senatorial candidates for the 2013 midterm elections. “They are studying it carefully. It it necessary that the people they choose believe in the program of the President,” he said.

LP’s first meeting on its 2013 slate earlier in June resulted in a list of about 20 potential candidates.

But the list has grown to 32 names, according to President Aquino.

Tañada said allies of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are excluded from the list. Tañada said it may be too early to finalize its slate by July. It’s the LP National Board that will finalize the list.

So far, LP has named Tañada, Aurora Rep Sonny Angara, former Akbayan Rep Risa Hontiveros and TESDA director-general Joel Villanueva as among its potential candidates. The party has yet to choose, however, between the two Biazons: Mandaluyong Rep. Rodolfo “Pong” Biazon or his son Customs chief Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon.


In his speech before the new LP recruits, President Aquino shared what he said are his administration’s “accomplishments” so far. He said they will be a part of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July.

He mentioned infrastructure development, the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, universal Philhealth coverage, rice self-sufficiency by 2013, and judicial reform.

The President boasted that the CCT program now covers 3 million beneficiaries, a big jump from the 800,000 enrolled under the Arroyo administration. The CCT program was Arroyo’s brainchild.

The President also claimed that 82% of the population are now covered by Philhealth. –

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