Caloocan 2nd District Representative Edgar Erice has left the Liberal Party for Aksyon Demokratiko, now led by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Erice, six Caloocan City councilors, and two others took their oaths before Moreno on Monday, September 20, in Manila. Erice has announced plans to run for Caloocan mayor next year.
Erice, in a speech at the event, said he had been an active member of the LP for 18 years but decided the times called for him to switch political parties.
“Subalit ang mga panahon ito ay di pangkaraniwan. Kaya may tawag po ang bayan, hindi rin pangkaraniwang pagkilos. Kaya ngayon po, lilinasin ko ang Partido Liberal at sasama po ako sa isang partido na nakikita kong makapagbibigay liwanag sa kadilimang dinaranas ng ating bayan sa ngayon,” said Erice.
(For the times are extraordinary, so there is a call from the nation for extraordinary actions. So today, I will leave the Liberal Party to join a party that I see will bring light to the darkness our country is now experiencing.)
Erice said he made the decision to jump parties with a heavy heart.
“It was painful for me. I have so many good friends in the Liberal Party. I owe a lot to the Liberal Party,” he said in Filipino. Erice was one of the fiercest allies of 2016 Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, who was defeated by President Rodrigo Duterte in that year’s presidential race.
Below are the other Caloocan politicians and personalities who joined Aksyon with Erice.
- Councilor Alou Nubla
- Councilor Christopher Malonzo
- Councilor Alex Mangasar
- Councilor Ricardo Bagus
- Councilor Jerome Balete
- Councilor Jefferson Paspie
- Jacob Cabochan
- Former Caloocan City Administrator Russel Ramirez
Moreno, as newly-minted Aksyon President, welcomed Erice to his party.
“You are welcome in Aksyon. We can work with anyone, as we have been showing in the City of Manila. Enemy or ally in politics, we work together in governance,” said Moreno in an Aksyon press release.
Erice praised Moreno for Manila’s pandemic response, calling it “efficient.” He specifically lauded Manila’s program providing tablets for the city’s students to help in remote learning during the pandemic.
He took the opportunity to take a jab at the Duterte administration’s response to the health crisis, calling the Department of Health and the government as a whole a “failure.”
Other politicians have joined Aksyon along with Moreno, including Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and former opposition senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc. Moreno taking on party leadership is seen as indicative of moves to run for a national post in the 2022 elections.
Moreno placed second to presidential survey frontrunner Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in the most recent publicly-released survey on possible presidential bets. – Rappler.com