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Bilang lang ang miyembro! Robredo: LP’s state feels like throwback to Marcos years

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Vice President Leni Robredo couldn’t help but draw parallelisms between the martial law years and the current political climate as she noted how quickly the Liberal Party’s ranks diminished with the end of the Aquino administration.

In her speech during the Liberal Party’s 72nd anniversary Friday (January 19), Robredo paid tribute to the party’s storied past as an organization that stands up for what’s right.

“Kung titingnan natin, noong panahon ng diktaduryang Marcos, iilan lang ang natirang Liberal Party. Paraang umuulit ang kasaysayan,” she said.

“Pero hindi numero iyong tiningnan. Ang tiningnan iyong lakas ng paniniwala. Ang tiningnan iyong lakas ng pakikipaglaban,” she added.

LP’s membership dwindled as politikos jumped ship to PDP-Laban, President Rodrigo Duterte’s political party, after he won the 2016 elections.

A lawmaker even joked that the number of LP members had declined drastically that they could all fit in a Volkswagen Beetle.

But Robredo, LP’s chairperson, said LP’s history would show that it had always fought for its principles no matter how tough the situation got.

“Kaya itong ating kasaysayan po, isa lamang iyong aral na binibigay sa atin— gaano man kalakas ang hamon, gaano man kalakas ang kasamaan, gaano man kabigat ang problemang pinagdadaanan, mas matingkad pa rin at angat pa rin iyong paniniwala natin bilang miyembro ng Partido Liberal,” she said.

Robredo took the opportunity to thank the ordinary people and politikos who either chose to join or stay in LP despite criticism about its alleged bias, saying it is proof that there’s hope.

“Iyong pagpunta niyo ngayong hapon, iyong panunumpa niyo sa ating partido, ito na iyong kasagutan sa parating tanong, ‘May pag-asa pa ba tayo?’ Ang sagot: malaki pa ang oag-asa natin, dahil mayroong mga taong kagaya niyo, na sa panahon na hindi uso iyong ating partido, nandiyan kayo— matapang, malakas ang loob na sinasabing, ‘Partido Liberal kami,’ kasi ito iyong aming pinapaniwalaan,” she said.

Among the politikos present at the LP’s anniversary were former President Benigno Aquino III, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Reps. Raul Daza, Kit Belmonte and Kaka Bag-ao, and Governors Mujiv Hataman and Alfonso Umali.