Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima today called on her partymates to continue working together to promote meaningful change and liberalism now that liberal values of truth, justice and democracy are being undermined by the present administration.
In her message on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of Liberal Party, De Lima said it is high time for LP members to stand united in fighting against the government who threatens democracy and tramples upon the rights of the Filipino people.
“Sa panahon man ng kadiliman at mapaniil na pamahalaan, nariyan ang LP at ang mga naninindigang miyembro nito upang ipagtanggol at ipaglaban ang ating kalayaan, demokrasya at mga karapatan,” she said.
“Maging lunsaran sana ang pagdiriwang na ito sa higit pang pagbibigkis ng ating partido at sa pagtataguyod ng makabuluhang transpormasyon upang higit na maisabuhay at mapatibay ang ating mga batayang prinsipyo,” she added.
The country’s second oldest political party, LP saw the shift of alliances of many of its members to the now-ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party after Duterte assumed presidency.
With Duterte at the helm of the present government, extrajudicial killings have been rampant with an estimated 13,000 casualties in his administration’s all-out war on drugs.
The Duterte administration also plans to replace the current system with an authoritarian one through Charter Change, noting that a shift to a federal unitary form of government was among its key electoral promises during the 2016 election.
While other elected government officials choose to turn a blind eye on the injustices shrouding the country, De Lima said LP members should distinguish themselves by publicly condemning Duterte’s crooked policies.
“Sa pananahimik at pagwawalang kibo ng marami nating pinuno at kababayan, lalong sinasagad ng kasalukuyang gobyerno ang pagyurak sa ating Saligang Batas at pagtapak sa ating karapatang pantao. Pinatay ang libo-libong maralita sa ilalim ng ‘War on Drugs at walang habas ang pag-tokhang sa ating sistemang pangkatarungan,” she said.
“Higit pa sa ating pagiging ‘dilawan,’ higit pa sa hawak nating katungkulan o kapangyarihan, Pilipino tayong may obligasyon at nagmamalasakit sa kapwa Pilipino; Pilipino tayong nagnanais na maibalik ang ating pambansang dangal,” she added.
De Lima earlier said she is proud to be “yellow” but clarified that she, as with other LP members, should “not allow others to define [them] by color.”