‘Babalik tayo’: New LP president Lagman vows to lift party from ashes of poll defeats | Inquirer News

‘Babalik tayo’: New LP president Lagman vows to lift party from ashes of poll defeats

/ 06:24 PM September 30, 2022
‘Babalik tayo’: New LP president Lagman vows to lift party from ashes

Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel lagman. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / JAM STA ROSA

MANILA, Philippines — Veteran lawmaker and Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, who has been elected as the new president of the Liberal Party (LP), vowed to restore the party from the ashes of electoral setbacks.

During the National Executive Council Meeting of the party held in San Juan City earlier, Lagman said the party would be looking forward to the 2025 midterm elections and other succeeding polls, saying “babalik tayo” (we will be back).

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He also said that hiatus would not be an option because the present times call for more action from the Liberal Party.

“With the myriad challenges faced by the Liberal Party today, hiatus is not an option. In fact, now is the time to perpetuate the legacies of LP. We may be small in numbers now, but we are far from insignificant. For what we lack in numbers we compensate with the unquestionable quality and excellence of our members,” Lagman said.

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“We look forward to the 2025 mid-term elections and beyond. Babalik tayo.  As your President, I am not ready to incant the requiem of the Liberal Party. I assume the presidency to lift up the Liberal Party from the ashes of the May 2022 elections,” he added.

Lagman said the approach to ensure an increase in membership would be to still focus on the grassroots to know the actual struggles of people and eventually link with the youth leaders who would invigorate LP.

“To remain relevant and expand our ranks, we must unite and strengthen our crusade for sound, effective, and just governance and intensify our recruitment activities starting from the grassroots and concentrating on getting the support of like-minded political leaders. The Party must also be invigorated with young blood, and we must also prioritize the enlistment of members from college campuses, barangay youth leaders, and the ranks of young national officials,” he explained.

“We shall immerse with the masses of our people. We shall be partners in their aspiration for a better life. We shall be privy to their desperations. We shall be guardians of their inalienable rights. We shall champion the noble causes they have been struggling for. And we shall be the people’s party because we exist and endure for them,” he added.

During the meeting, other party officials were named, including former Ifugao lawmaker Teddy Baguilat, now the secretary general. Lagman’s election replaces former senator Francis Pangilinan, who is now the party chairperson.

Pangilinan replaces former Vice President Leni Robredo as the party chair.

The other officials elected are the following:

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  • former Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte, Vice Chairman
  • former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, Executive Vice President
  • Oriental Mindoro Rep. Alfonso “Boy” Umali, Treasurer
  • Iloilo Provincial Board Member Jason Gonzalez, Director General

LP has seen several setbacks since key member and former president Benigno Aquino III stepped down from office. While Robredo, along with several other members of the LP senatorial slate, won in the 2016 national elections, the party suffered a mass exodus after most officials jumped to PDP-Laban.

PDP-Laban is former president Rodrigo Duterte’s political party.

READ: Mass exodus of LP execs to PDP-Laban

READ: For 2022, LP insists its strength relies on people, not politicians 

Then in 2019, none of the eight senatorial candidates from the Otso Diretso slate — a coalition where LP was part of after fielding four of the eight bets — made it to the Magic 12.

READ: What went wrong with Otso Diretso? 

READ: Robredo: ‘Otso Diretso’ did well in schools surveys, but lost as students can’t vote 

In the 2022 polls, however, Robredo lost in the presidential race. Out of the 12 senatorial candidates under Robredo and Pangilinan’s slate, only three candidates won, with only Senator Risa Hontiveros being a part of the core slate.

JMS/abc
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TAGS: Edcel Lagman, Francis Pangilinan, Leni Robredo, Liberal Party, Teddy Baguilat
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