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Spooked by speaking out: Criticism of admin, not ‘absence of leadership’ caused LP exodus — Kiko Pangilinan

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Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has bucked at the claim of some of his former party mates in the Liberal Party that they jumped ship to the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) due to an “absence in leadership.”

In a statement Thursday (May 18), Pangilinan blamed the LP senators’ open criticism of the administration for the exodus of politikos from the party.

“It’s more the opposite: They are leaving LP because of the presence of leadership now speaking out against a number of policies of the administration, such as the position against the death penalty, extra-judicial killings, etc,” he said.

Pangilinan conceded their views have an effect on local politics, since administration supporters have branded LP as “a yellow demon responsible for all of society’s ills.”

The LP contingent in the House has only 27 members left after five transferred to PDP-Laban earlier this month: Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, Lanao del Sur Rep. Ansaruddin Adiong, North Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco, Quezon City 5th district Rep. Alfred Vargas, and Quezon City 2nd district Rep. Winnie Castelo .

While Pangilinan conceded that rebuilding the LP has become more difficult with “half-truths” being spread around, he said they still have a weapon to survive: “A clear and convincing vision of the future, with the truth told a thousand times.”