MANILA, Philippines — The Liberal Party is set on forming an opposition slate, dubbed "The Resistance," for the 2019 senatorial elections.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, LP president, said the party is seeking "the broadest coalition" of groups and individuals who support the protection of civil and political rights. The LP's membership has significantly declined since 2016.
“Democracy demands dissent....We hope this coalition is one in ensuring our economic development is not sidelined by corruption and human rights violations,” Pangilinan said in a statement on Tuesday, March 27.
“Resistance is our movement. We must vigorously resist the slide to authoritarianism and anti-democratic rule,” he added, in apparent reference to the Duterte administration.
So far, only Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV is the sure LP senatorial candidate for 2019. But Aquino said the slate, which is still in the works, would also be open to other individuals, including reelectionist senators.
“Kung sinu-sino po ang mga miyembro nito, that's still very fluid. Of course, bukas iyan sa mga incumbent, bukas iyan sa mga bagong mukha, pero kinakailangan po handa na magsama-sama dito sa hangarin na tutulan yung mga polisiya ng administrasyon na hindi nakabubuti sa ating bansa,” Aquino said in an interview.
(As for the members, that's still very fluid. Of course, it will be open to incumbent senators, to new faces. But we need to be ready to unite to oppose the policies of the administration that are not good for the country.)
“As this is still unfolding, of course, magre-reveal iyan ng mga pangalan, ng mga grupo (names, groups will be revealed). And you will be surprised, I think,” he added.
Aside from Aquino, the other reelectionist senators are senators Joseph Victor Ejercito, Juan Edgardo Angara, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, who are all allied with the majority bloc. (READ: Pimentel vows to 'fight' for reelectionist allies in pdp-laban slate)
Aquino earlier rejected allegations he would be joining the PDP-Laban slate, following the statement of Ejercito that Aquino is also being considered by presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte's party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago. — Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email email@example.com