LP eyes ‘resistance’ coalition in 2019 polls

The Liberal Party (LP) is pushing for a “resistance” coalition in the 2019 elections to prevent any possible “slide to authoritarianism and anti-democratic rule.”

In a statement released Tuesday, March 27, LP President Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan stressed the need for a “strong” opposition coalition “to ensure that our democracy remains vibrant.”

The LP, he said, hopes to help in building the “broadest coalition of groups and individuals united behind defending our freedoms and our civil and political rights.”

“We hope this coalition is one in ensuring our economic development is not sidelined by corruption and human rights violations,” said the senator. “Resistance is our movement. We must vigorously resist the slide to authoritarianism and anti-democratic rule.”

Pangilinan, however, acknowledged that the LP needed support from other parties to achieve the goal.

“We will need to work with other groups and forces willing to unite and to resist extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses, the undermining of our sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea, and the continuing rise of prices of basic commodities, among others,” Pangilinan said.

Sen. Bam Aquino, also an LP member, earlier raised the need for a “genuine” opposition slate.

In a television interview on Monday, March 26, Aquino stressed the need for a slate “that’s independent from PDP-Laban, that’s willing to oppose, willing to stand up even if it’s unpopular, and even when it’s dangerous.”

PDP-Laban, or Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan, is the ruling party being chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“In 2019, hindi lang ‘The Force’ kailangan (it’s not only ‘The Force’ that we need), we need ‘The Resistance’ – a genuine opposition slate. You will find me on that slate,” Aquino told ABS-CBN News Channel, apparently referring to a movement against the ruling “First Order” in the “Star Wars” series.

Malacañang, meanwhile, downplayed the planned resistance coalition.

Commenting on the issue, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said: “There is nothing new there. They’ve been resisting this administration.”

“They can always try. They can always fail. They will always try to repeat what they have failed. They are welcome. We welcome. It’s a free society,” Panelo added.

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