April 30, 2012
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, a member of the Liberal Party, challenged partymates to “stay true to the reform agenda” set by the Aquino administration and include fresh names in the 2013 slate to “challenge ‘trapo’ politics and give progressive candidates a chance to serve the country.”
“We dared to rock the vote and create change in 2010 when we joined the people’s clamor to support President Aquino—who then wasn’t even a contender for the presidency. We were bold and confident that change can happen if we, the people, make it happen. Huwag na sana tayo makisali sa trapong paraan ng pamumulitika. Sayang lang ang pagbabagong nasimulan natin kung babalik rin pala tayo sa dating gawi.”
In the run-up to the 2010 elections, Pangilinan was the first public official to call on then-Senator Benigno Aquino III to step up to the presidential race, sacrificing his own bid for higher office to support the Aquino-Roxas tandem.
Pangilinan also made history in 2007 as the first incumbent to run as independent and win, pushing the politics of principle and reform over the traditional “politics of addition.”
“The only way for us to realize long-term change is if we stay consistently on the path of reform,” Pangilinan says. “It has been a long, often-uphill battle but we have already begun to realize it. Let’s continue pushing the envelope and raising the bar, so to speak, and give the people new and better choices for the national elections.”
“We need fresh faces; the LP should strive to give our people more choices,” Pangilinan asserts. “The LP should look to the private sector, the NGO community, and the LGUs where there are rising stars and recruit the best, the brightest, and the most deserving.”
The lawmaker points out that a new generation of progressive reformists is well-poised to take on national roles if given the opportunity to do so. Among them are Quezon representative Erin Tañada, former Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros, former Isabela governor Grace Padaca, and multi-awarded social entrepreneur Bam Aquino.
“We urge our partymates to continue rocking the vote as we did in 2010. We still have a long way to go until reforms are fully realized—but with courage, conviction, and with our courage, conviction, and principles and values intact, we believe that we can win people’s support for change to continue to happen.”
“We need to give way to a new generation of leaders and show people the way,” Pangilinan reiterates.