Robredo hopes more ‘advocates’ to ‘professionalize’ LP

Mara Cepeda
Robredo hopes more ‘advocates’ to ‘professionalize’ LP
Vice President Leni Robredo says having non-politician members will help ensure that advocacies, not elections, set party direction

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo is hoping that more “advocates” will join and “professionalize” the Liberal Party (LP) in the coming years.

The Vice President, who is also LP chairperson, said having mostly non-politician members will help ensure that the once-ruling political party would be less influenced by the results of elections.

In a Rappler Talk interview last Thursday, September 13, Robredo recalled that a majority of LP politicians immediately jumped ship to the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan as soon as then-Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte won the 2016 presidential polls.  

Dapat iyong mga party, iyong Liberal Party, iyong membership nito advocates. Kasi ayaw natin na nade-define iyong party ng eleksyon kung sino ang mananalo na presidente o hindi kasi hindi niya magagawa iyong kaniyang role kung ganiyan siya,” Robredo said.

(The membership of the political parties, of the Liberal Party, should be advocates. That’s because we don’t want the elections or the winning presidential canddiate to define the party, because it would mean he or she would not be able to uphold his or her duties.)

Robredo explained this was why the LP has been recruiting non-politician members since late last year. (READ: New blood: Liberal Party welcomes ‘non-politicians’ into fold

She believes these “advocates” will help manage the LP as an organization with a specific set of advocacies.

Ako, tingin ko, dapat ito na eh. Kasi if the party is composed of only politicians, mahirap eh, kasi paminsan iyong umiiral iyong pulitika, hindi iyong paniniwala. We hope that will change in the coming years. Siguro itong pagsali ng mga advocates rather than politicians, sila iyong mga makakapabago sa direksyon ng partido,” said the Vice President.

(I think this is it. If the party is composed of politicians, it’s hard because political leanings sometimes influence the party, not its ideals. We hope that will change in the coming years. Perhaps with mostly advocates joining instead of politicians, they will be able to change the direction of the party.)

LP currently accepts applications for new members online. Robredo herself is able to meet with these new recruits when they take their oath.

The Vice President has already accepted the call to lead and unite the opposition against Duterte. (READ: Robredo: Better results with ‘calm, courageous’ leadership

Robredo said she is looking for “patriots” in the final Senate slate that the opposition coalition will be fielding for the 2019 midterm elections. – 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.