By Rhaydz B. Barcia
LEGAZPI CITY --- Owing to lack of funds, Vice President Leni Robredo said the Liberal Party is a need of more volunteers from the grassroots in the upcoming 2019 midterm polls.
“The Liberal Party has no money and we’re facing logistical difficulty,” Robredo told reporters in an interview here during the launching of Basic Orientation on Liberal Democracy (BOLD) held at Ninong’s Hotel on Sunday.
The Liberal Party according to Robredo wants the voices of the people to be heard as part of governance. She hopes to develop new breed of political leaders from the grassroots or out of ordinary people who can weed out political dynasties in the country.
“What we are pushing in Liberal Party is to be discerning where ordinary people can be part of our decision making. We want that everybody to have the chance to serve,” she said.
Robredo cited the triumph of her husband, former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo’s political career from 1992 to 2016 whose leadership is anchored on the support of the ordinary people in Naga City where the people voted consistently 10-0 for his candidates despite their powerful political opponents.
Robredo also cited and lauded Mayor Noel Rosal remarkable leadership as it now surpasses Naga City in competitiveness ranking and other major governance awards.
“If you have the support of the ordinary people, you will triumph against all odds. Power remains in the hands of ordinary people. For two years now, Legazpi City is like a rocket in progress. Legazpi City even surpassed Naga City as it bagged all major awards for good governance and competitiveness. If the local government is efficient and effective you will have the strong support of the people just like what Mayor Noel Rosal is having now,” the Vice President said.
When asked about the exodus of former Liberal Party members to PDP of President Robrigo Duterte, Robredo said that those who remain loyal to the party are those not easily swayed by the flow of political turncoatism.
“When my husband Jesse joined the Liberal Party, their number could have been contained in just one Volkswagen sedan that included the much respected Senators Salonga, Tanada and Ninoy Aquino. In 2010, there are only few LP members but when President Benigno Aquino Jr. won the presidency that year, many from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s party deserted her and joined LP just like today that where everybody went to the PDP of President Duterte,” she said.
As politicians jump from one party to another, Robredo said it is better to have few but quality party members.
In Albay, the former LP members from known political kingpins jumped ship except Vice Gov. Harold Imperial, Board Member Rolly Rosal, come backing board members Glenda Ong-Bongao of Tabaco City and Arnold Embestro of Polangui.
Those who remain in the Liberal Party like Vice Governor Harold Imperial and other LP members stick to the party’s ideals and beliefs, and shun away political turncoatism, she said.
While they are short of having a complete 12-man Sente slate, Robredo said the eight shortlisted LP candidates are those with proven undisputable track record.
“I am one of those who fought for these eight candidates whose idealism remains. This also sends a strong message that your popularity would justify the choice of this election even against all odds,” Leni said.
Robredo admitted that the Liberal Party does not have enough funds but hoped that the eight senatorial candidates will win just like when she won the vice presidency in 2016 under the support of the people.
The LP according to Robredo also needs more volunteers across the country. “We’re happy because the first 24-hour call for volunteers, more than a thousand signed up. So we need more volunteers from the grassroots level.”