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Robredo wants principle-based political party system reform

/ 11:10 PM October 18, 2021
political party system reform

Vice President Leni Robredo speaking before Meeting of the Rotary Club of Manila. Screengrab from Facebook / OVP

MANILA, Philippines — One of the things that Vice President Leni Robredo may turn her attention on if she is elected president in the 2022 national elections, is to usher in a reformation of the country’s political party system and ensure that membership is based on principles, and not just on the party’s influence.

In an ambush interview in Marawi, Lanao del Sur, Robredo was asked if she will push for a two-party system.  Robredo said that it would necessarily be the case, but she would prefer that politicians do not just jump on the bandwagon — or the party of the winning president.

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“Alam natin kung ang nangyayari sa atin elections after elections. Iyong sa atin dito halos hindi nabibigyan ng value iyong mga political parties kasi dito sa atin, ang paglipat ng partido ay para kang nagpapalit lang ng damit, na kung ano iyong convenient sa iyo, iyon iyong gagawin mo,” Robredo told reporters after an event in the city.

(We know what happens election after election.  Here in the country, we have failed to give value to the political parties because for us, switching parties is just like changing clothes: what is convenient for you, you would do it or choose it.)

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“Hindi naman iyon iyong role ng political parties. Kasi ang role ng political parties, dapat ito iyong nagpo-provide ng platform para iyong mga advocacies mo at saka iyong principles na tinutulak mo, iyong party iyong pinaka-representation ng mga prinsipyong iyon,” he added.

(But that’s not the role of political parties.  Because the role of political parties is to provide a platform for the advocacies of a person and the principles one is pushing for, the party should be the very representation of your principles.)

In the past two presidencies — that of late former president Benigno Aquino III and incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte — politicians jumping from one party to the ruling party became common.

In 2010, after Aquino won in the elections, elected officials including members of the Congress jumped ship from their respective parties towards the Liberal Party (LP), which was the late leader’s party.  Then after Duterte won in 2016, LP members moved to PDP-Laban, which is the current president’s party.

Robredo said that allowing such a system does not help in the public’s political maturity, especially if the goal is to involve the people more in political discussions.

“And hindi siya nakakatulong sa political maturity ng mga tao. Iyong para sa akin, kung pagdedesisyunan nating ayusin iyong political party system, kailangan mag-umpisa iyon sa electoral reforms,” she explained.

(It does not help in the political maturity of the people.  For me, if we decide to fix the political party system, these should start with the electoral reforms.)

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“Kailangan bigyan ng mas malawak na participation iyong ordinaryong mamamayan para iyong mga politicians kagaya namin ay nagiging sensitive sa pakiramdam ng mga constituency na pinaninilbihan namin. And hindi siya convenient lang dahil sa pagkakandidatura namin,” she added.

(We should provide the people broader participation in political discussions, so that politicians like us would be sensitive to the feelings of the constituency whom we serve.  And it should not only be convenient to our own candidacies.)

As a testament to her commitment to party reforms, Robredo said she would not discriminate against politicians based on party lines if she is elected president — which means officials are free to support her, without pressure to join LP.

“Para kasi sa akin, opportunity para gawin na natin iyong maraming pagbabago politically na dapat baguhin. Very important element ng progress ng ating bansa kung iyong politics natin ay maayos din. Alam natin hindi nakakatulong iyong pag-shift ng loyalties.  Hindi naman kailangan nasa partido ka ng presidente para maging supportive ka,” she said.

(For me, it’s an opportunity to change a lot of things in terms of politics.  Our politics, if it is performing properly, is a very important element to usher in progress within the country.  We know that shifting loyalties does not help.  You should not be in the same party as the president just to be supportive.)

“Iyong party ko is just one of the parties doon sa political system. Sa akin, it doesn’t make sense na grabe iyong reklamo ko sa klase ng politika natin tapos kapag ako nakaupo, gagawin ko rin, ‘di ba? So sa akin, ang Liberal Party naman kahit maliit siya, basta ipinaglalaban niya iyong kaniyang mga paninindigan, that is enough,” she added.

(My party is just one of the parties inside the political system.  For me, it doesn’t make sense that I would complain of the kind of politics we have then I would also do it once I take office, right?  So for me, even if the Liberal Party is small, as long as it fights for its beliefs, that is enough.)

Robredo is running in the 2022 presidential race against labor leader Ka Leody de Guzman, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senators Manny Pacquiao, Panfilo Lacson, and Ronald dela Rosa, and former senator Bongbong Marcos.

Before she filed her certificate of candidacy, Robredo vowed to unite the opposition to prevent a government similar to President Duterte’s, and block the return of the Marcoses to power.

/MUF

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TAGS: #2022candidates, 2022 national elections, Liberal Party, Marawi, Office of the Vice President, OVP, party reforms, Philippine news updates, political party reforms, Ruling Party, Vice President Leni Robredo
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