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LP against NP IN 2022

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - February 27, 2021 - 12:00am

Like in the USA, with the regular tug of war between Democrats and Republicans, and between the Conservatives and the Labor Party in the UK, there’s a strong indication that the Philippines will revert to the pre-Martial Law's two-party system. I’m looking forward to a battle royale between Liberal Party's Leni Robredo versus Nacionalista Party's Bongbong Marcos.

If Bongbong and Cynthia Villar of NP, join forces, most probably supported by Alan and Pia Cayetano, and align it with whatever the remains of KBL and Marcos loyalists, that will be a formidable force to reckon with, especially if President Dodrigo Duterte, Sara, and the Mindanao alliance rally behind them. That's the party of businessmen and trapos. The underdog will be Liberal Party, led by Vice President Leni Robredo, supported by Franklin Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, and others. This will be a great fight between Ilocanos and Bicolanos. They must get their vice presidential bets from the Visayas, though.

The NP is the oldest political party in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. It was founded by Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. with Manuel Quezon in 1907. It was also the party of Jose Laurel, Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos Garcia, and Ferdinand Marcos, until he dismantled it to form KBL in 1972 after declaring martial law. It used to be the party of Manuel Roxas, but when he was defeated in a clean NP convention by Don Sergio in 1946, he bolted NP and founded the Liberal Party. Today, NP has Manuel Villar as president and Cynthia Villar as chairman. The NP has four senators out of 24, and 42 congressmen out of 304. It has eight out of 82 governors, 11 vice governors, and 116 provincial board members. It’s the party of the wealthy, landlords, and taipans. It’s more like the Republican and Conservative parties.

The LP was founded by Roxas in 1946. It was the party of Elpidio Quirino, Diosdado Macapagal, Serging Osmena, Benigno Aquino Jr., and PNoy. Its current president is Kiko Pangilinan and its chairwoman is Robredo. It has three senators out of 24. Seventeen out of 304 congressmen, two governors out of 82, five vice governors, and 54 provincial board members. Its ideology is liberalism and social liberalism and its position in the political spectrum is swinging from center to left. It’s attractive to human rights advocates, progressive labor groups, students, urban poor, and peasants. It’s more compatible with the Democratic and Labor parties.

NP is more right of center and its ideology is conservatism and Filipino nationalism. The LP's slogan is “Bago, bukas, liberal” while the NP has “Ang bayan, higit sa lahat.” The message of the NP resonates easily with the business community. They want less taxes and less dole-outs to the people. They oppose increasing minimum wage and resist additional benefits for workers. They want workers to work hard and not rely on the government to subsidize their needs on education, health, and welfare. They also want a stronger military and police, bigger budgets for the armed forces, and the war against drugs to continue relentlessly. They wants to stamp out corruptions and crimes, favor population control and death penalty, and opposes divorce, same-sex marriage, and abortion.

The LP wants more social services, higher wages, better benefits for workers and liberalism in unionism and strikes. They want no compromise on human rights and oppose summary executions and extra-judicial punishments.

The lines will be drawn in 2022. The people will have a clearer choice. I don't really know where characters like Manny Pacquiao, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy shall position themselves. But I know that guys like Tito Sotto, Ralph Recto, Bong Go, Francis Tolentino, and Bato dela Rosa will go NP while Risa Hontiveros, Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, and Antonio Trillanes will be likely LP. I assume, of course, that they shall decide based on ideology and not on convenience and expediency.

LENI ROBREDO
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