Francis Pangilinan (acting)
January 19, 1946; 71 years ago (1946-01-19)
Nacionalista Party (opposition)
The Liberal Party of the Philippines (Filipino: Partido Liberal ng Pilipinas) is a liberal political party in the Philippines, founded by then senators Senate President Manuel Roxas, Senate President Pro-Tempore Elpidio Quirino, and former 9th Senatorial District Senator José Avelino, on January 19, 1946 by a breakaway Liberal wing from the old Nacionalista Party. It was the ruling party after the election victory of Benigno Aquino III as the President of the Philippines. Today, The Liberals are the opposition in the Senate, and they are the minority in the House of Representatives
- Current party officials
- House of Representatives
- Elected Philippine President
- Parties in coalition with the Liberal Party
The Liberal Party is the second oldest extant political party in the Philippines in terms of date of establishment, and the oldest continually-active political party in the Philippines. The party has been led by respected liberal thinkers and pro-development politicians like Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Diosdado Macapagal, Gerry Roxas, Benigno Aquino, Jr., Jovito Salonga, Raul Daza, Florencio B. Abad, Jr., Franklin Drilon, Mar Roxas, and Benigno Aquino III.
The Liberal Party was founded on January 19, 1946 by oligarch in the Philippines led by Manuel Roxas, the first President of the Third Philippine Republic. It was formed by Roxas from what was once the "Liberal Wing" of the old Nacionalista Party. Two more Presidents of the Philippines elected into office came from the LP: Elpidio Quirino and the redoubtable Diosdado Macapagal. Two other presidents came from the ranks of the LP, as former members of the party who later chose to follow a different path by joining the Nacionalistas: Ramon Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos.
During the days leading to his declaration of martial law, Marcos would find his old party as a potent roadblock to his quest for one-man rule. Led by Ninoy Aquino, Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, the LP would time and again hound the would-be dictator on issues like human rights and the curtailment of freedoms. Not even Marcos' declaration of martial law silenced the LP, and the party continued to fight the dictatorship despite the costs. Many of its leaders and members would be prosecuted and even killed during this time.
In recent times, the LP was instrumental in ending more than half a century of US military presence in the Philippines with its campaign in the Philippine Senate of 1991 to reject a new RP-US Bases Treaty. This ironically cost the party dearly, losing for it the elections of 1992. Despite the loss, in 2000 it again showed its mettle by standing against the corruption of the Joseph Estrada government, actively supporting the Resign-Impeach-Oust initiatives that led to People Power II.
In 2006, the Philippines' ruling political party, Lakas-CMD, with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo serving as its supremo, was influential in "hijacking" the Liberal Party by way of overthrowing the party presidency of Sen. Franklin Drilon at a rump party meeting at the Manila Hotel. With the marching orders and blessing of Lakas, LP members sympathetic to the Arroyo government used the meeting on March 2 to install Manila Mayor Lito Atienza as the party president, thus triggering an LP leadership struggle and party schism. Days later, the Supreme Court proclaimed Drilon the true president of the party, leaving the Atienza wing expelled.
The Liberal Party regained new influence in 2010 when it nominated as its next presidential candidate then-Senator Benigno Aquino III, the son of former President Corazon Aquino, after the latter's death that subsequently showed a massive outpouring of sympathy for the Aquino family. Even though the party had earlier nominated Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II to be its presidential candidate for the 2010 Philippine general election, Roxas chose to give way to Aquino and ran for vice president instead. During the fierce campaign battle that followed, the party was able to field new members breaking away from the then-ruling party Lakas Kampi CMD to become the largest minority party in Congress.
The party is in the "third way" or centre of the political spectrum. It likes to distance itself from the political extremes on the left and right.
Current party officials
*in coalition with PDP-Laban
House of Representatives
*does not include candidates who ran as under a Liberal Party ticket along with another party.
**in coalition with PDP-Laban