Latest Stories

Jovito Salonga’s son laments LP snub


Steve Salonga, an independent candidate for governor of Rizal in next month’s elections, is pretty much on his own.

He laments that the Liberal Party (LP) has abandoned him.

Steve’s father, former Sen. Jovito Salonga, had been one of the leading lights of the party for over a half century.

But at the age of 92, and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the elder Salonga is no longer there as the son takes on Rebecca “Nini” Ynares, the LP candidate in the gubernatorial race in Rizal.

How did this happen?

Salonga, a 64-year-old lawyer, points to what he calls the reality of traditional and patronage politics.

In principle, the LP should be against political dynasties and warlords, but on the ground, there are many compromises and alliances that work against this, according to Salonga.

Rizal is a case in point, he says.

Ynares is part of a family whose members hold five elective positions in the province.

‘Tuwid na daan’

“I am aware and understand why my own party did not endorse my candidacy. Maybe they think I am much of an idealist and the type who do not compromise, and maybe they think, the dynasties which idealists should be fighting are the ones with the more chances of winning. I get that and I understand that but my point is, that is not tuwid na daan (straight path),” he told the Inquirer in a recent interview.

“Tuwid na daan may be true in the elective posts on the national level, but not on the local level,” he said.

Salonga was quick to say that he did not think President Aquino was aware of the compromises on the ground, but insisted that this was a reality he had to contend with in next month’s elections.

The “disturbing and aggressive alliances” with dynasties, warlords and traditional politicians began during the 2010 elections, he said.

Salonga said at that time, his father questioned such deals but got nowhere. He said that his father’s letters and phone calls were ignored.  “He was very disappointed,” said the son.

Salonga explained that Aquino’s tuwid na daan principle must be carried out down to the grass roots.

“I have stayed in the background during most of the elections in the country to know that alliances even with enemies and those with opposing views and principles are ingredients of victory. However, this is not the Liberal Party as we know it and this is not tuwid na daan.”

Roxas drive

As early as October last year, Salonga said, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas has been telling party members that he is running for president in 2016. That is why in the balloting next month, Roxas expects victory on all fronts of his allies, whether LP or non-LP politicians, he said.

Salonga said that in Rizal, Roxas made that announcement at Ynares Coliseum.

“Don’t get me wrong. Mar Roxas, as my father put it in 2010, was the preferred candidate for president at that time. Not that he disliked Noynoy. No. He just felt that Mar had reached a level of maturity then that made him fit to become president. But when my father saw the clamor for Noynoy, he did not oppose it and simply supported the direction taken by the Liberal Party,” Salonga said.

In the 2010 polling, Salonga ran for vice governor of Rizal and lost. Still, he said he was surprised that he got 400,000 plus votes although he barely received support from his own party.

“I am against a dynasty and the party that my father and I served through the years, the old Liberal Party, if I must say, stands on this principle of idealists against patronage and traditional politics of evil compromises,” Salonga said.

Victory or defeat, the younger Salonga said, he would be happy knowing that he did not make any compromises to the kind of principled leadership his father had taught him by example.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Elections , Liberal Party , Philippines , Politics , Steve Salonga , tuwid na daan

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Smooth Edsa ride up in 2 years, but…
  • Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Marketplace