THE Liberal Party has voted to call for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. If Arroyo does not step down voluntarily, the party said, they will support an impeachment move.

At a meeting at the Club Filipino, twenty members of the country’s second oldest political party voted to call for Arroyo to step down; eleven members wanted the President impeached, one voted for continuing support to the Chief Executive, and one to ask her to go on a leave of absence. The majority voted as well to demand for an overhaul of the Comelec.

The LP has among its members former Secretaries Florencio Abad and Rene Villa, two of those who announced this morning that they were leaving the Cabinet. Other party members are Secretaries Mike Defensor and Rigoberto Tiglao who are remaining with the President. Senate President Franklin Drilon is a member, as well as Senators Francisco Pangilinan, Mar Roxas and Rodolfo Biazon. The party counts 34 members in the House of Representatives, and in other local positions nationwide.

27 Responses to Liberal Party votes to call for Arroyo’s resignation

Avatar

jonathan

July 8th, 2005 at 1:59 pm

This is actually the moment i’ve been waiting for: a new group of oppositionists culled from the current ruling party. Hopefully, they grow in number and replace the old opposition, which unfortunately, has failed to play their role. To begin with, they are the relics of the Marcos and the Estrada regimes and have been fighting with each other. Their choice of FPJ as their Presidential standard bearer last election confirms their dearth of talent. The Liberal Party as the new opposition party is a good omen for the future of Philippine politics. With a long, dignified history, they can easily attract bright and idealistic members who can compete with the ruling party and give better choices to the electorate.

Avatar

Rene

July 8th, 2005 at 2:04 pm

Would be interesting to hear to know how Defensor and Tiglao voted and what they will do now should GMA quit (if indeed she has balls, or the people have balls to make her quit).

Mabuhay and Pilipino…

Avatar

masha

July 8th, 2005 at 2:28 pm

cuidao. pangilinan is mr noted who helped expedite the proclamation of gma. drilon has been wishy washy.

so far ok si mar except for his association with korina. puede na sanang maging presidente later kaso si korina ang partner. dehins puede.

Avatar

goops

July 8th, 2005 at 2:40 pm

e di ba ilang weeks lang nagsabi sila drilon, atienza, et al. na sinusuportahan ng liberal party si gma? mukhang nagbago ang ihip ng hangin. at mukhang puro hangin lang ang laman ng utak nyo…
itong si drilon, pagkatapos mag-sorry ni gma e inabswelto nya agad si gma…
itong si atienza, kaka-presscon lang nito nung isang araw kasama ang mga mayors na sumusuporta kay gma…
tsk tsk tsk… panahon nanaman ng mga balimbing…
hoy mayor atienza! dati erap ka a! tapos naging gma! tapos balimbing ka nanaman?!?! pakiayos nga ang pag-‘buhay mo sa maynila’. baka nakakalimutan mo, kasama sa maynila ang tundo. puro yung sa lugar mo lang ang inaayos mo e. kailangan ng maynila ay basic services para muling mabuhay ito, hindi yung mga proyekto na pang-PR lang…

Avatar

gladiator

July 8th, 2005 at 5:13 pm

The goal ought to be to install more principled leaders in government. Leaders of courage, competence, and most specially, character. This is why most presidents failed in the past.. I do not think Kiko is the enemy. I hear he is chairman of the National Reform Council of the Liberal Party, attempting to recruit more principled leaders (government and private) into the party and into government. Same goal. This is what we need.

LP still has some cockroaches, as any group of humans, but name me a more pallatable party than the Liberal? With the likes of Butch Abad, Chito Gascon, Gov.Robredo of Naga, and so forth. They voted 20 Resign, 10 Impeach, and 1 status quo.

Avatar

PrAtTler

July 8th, 2005 at 11:50 pm

We had the chance to know the truth during last year’s canvassing of votes, but Kiko Pangilinan et. al. chose to invoke ‘noted’. I hope he has the humility to acknowledge his obvious ‘lapse of judgment’. Did somebody say his breaking the gable was an omen of things to come?

Mike Defensor is Gloria and Mike Arroyo’s favorite errand boy, remember his rescue of Udong Mahusay? Wrong place at the wrong time. Sayang ang talent nitong si Mike D.

Drilon seems to have mastered his role as a ‘deserter’…. remember his breaking away from Erap in 2001.

Mar Roxas has been consistently quiet on this scandal (until this LP vote). Who blames him, he’s nurturing some ambition. Will he be (one of) our best bet for 2010? Or is 2010 still a possibility?

Avatar

korab

July 9th, 2005 at 6:16 am

nakakaamoy na ng posisyon si Drilon, kaya bumalimbing na…di uunlad ang pinas kung ang mga pulitiko ay balimbing….walang mga ipinaglalabang prinsipyo, basta ang mahalaga ay ang kanilang personal interest…pinasok nyo ang public service, dapat bayan muna ang isipin nyo!

Avatar

daluyong

July 9th, 2005 at 1:24 pm

As i’m writing this, Mayor Lito Atienza has just finished his press conference detailing how the Drilon-led faction railroaded the entire procedure.

Mas masahol pa pala sila Drilon kay Golez, the perennial balimbing. At least Golez had the courage and dignity to lay it all on the line when no clear advantage to him was apparent. Pero itong grupong ito, terible at nakakasuka. And to think just weeks earlier, these same guys had a photo session with GMA declaring their support. And even Drilon days earlier rabbleroused Iloilo with pro-GMA flattery.

Here is how i think what happened. These guys had themselves a deal with Noli de Castro in Hongkong, a very favorable political deal. They then networked with Cory and the Makati executives. The timing says it all. After the beakaway cabinet members’ presscon, they had their own presscon. Then the MBC press release and later, the Cory Aquino presscon. Noli even had a vague press release of sorts. It was planned to be a POLITICAL COUP intended to force GMA to step down.

But the problem was: the lady just dug in her heels.

Remember the names of these politicos who take positions only if there are clear possibilities of em taking power: DRILON, PANGILINAN, ABAD, ROXAS, BIAZON etc.

I knew something was afoot two nights ago when suddenly Mr. NOTED (Sen. Pangilinan) allowed himself to be interviewed on ANC. This guy who has been silent for several weeks suddenly was on TV testing the waters again. Pia Hontiveros could not hide her disgust at this Senator’s longwindedness so she abruptly cut him off the air.

Senator NOTED-PANGILINAN, please apologize first to all of us regarding your role in last year’s cheating cover-up before you have the temerity and gall to withdraw your support to PGMA. Cge ka, baka i-withdraw rin nya ang trophy ni Sharon Cuneta!

Avatar

juanday

July 9th, 2005 at 1:30 pm

Here is for breaking the impasse, my personal suggestion and opinion.

1. What if we allow VP Noli to take the place of GMA and in exchange Noli will appoint Loren Legarda as the new VP.

This is not to allow Sen. Drilon to take ove the post of VP because this will surely not acceptable to opposition and their team will be highly doubted by many.

Appointing Legarda to VP position will stop the PET to open the COC’s and to erase Legarda’s insistent that she was cheated because she is now the VP.

2. Another option is for Noli to appoint Pimentel as VP if Legarda is not a good proposition. This is if Pimentel is acceptable to opposition and to stop Pimentel from sourgraping because he got the next highest position of the country which he is (in my mind) very much interested many years ago.

This will calm down the restive opposition (at least for now) and let us go back to normalcy.

This is open for comments.

Avatar

daluyong

July 9th, 2005 at 1:36 pm

GLADIATOR, I just read your post and i have some questions because i presume youre a Liberal insider.

What were you guys thinking?

The Atienza narration of events (plus Roces’, Andaya’s, etc.) detailed how GARAPAL the maneuver was. Atienza was the LP chairman and you guys did not invite him?

Did the Drilon-faction really think that its gamble of presenting to the party a fait accompli (GMA stepping down, Noli in power, LP as the head party) would transpire at all?

Pinagtatawanan lang kayo ni Manong Johnny Enrile sa radio program nya, AMATEURS daw kayo.

Avatar

gangster_roger

July 9th, 2005 at 2:15 pm

sila naman lahat bayan ang iniisip eh. may kanya kanya lang paniniwala paano gawin yun.

ngayon pipili ka kung sino papanigan mo.

Avatar

gangster_roger

July 9th, 2005 at 2:17 pm

Its not about character at all. its about safeguards. and transparency and platform.

who is the perfect judge of character? and dont forget characters change.

Avatar

leatherneck

July 9th, 2005 at 3:44 pm

Daluyong,

Just so that you will not speculate out of ignorance, allow me to disabuse you from what you just THINK what happened when the Liberal Party appelaed to the president to resign. I know because not only am I an insider, I hav first hand knowledge and participation in it.

The Liberal Party has been an ally of the president since 2001. In 2004, the party gave full support to GMA, and because Senator Drilon was instrumental in GMA’s overwhelming victory in Iloilo (compared to Manila where GMA lost miserably). The president’s legislative agenda was supported by Liberal Party members in both Houses, which enabled her to implement programs that were cornerstones of her administration.

But that support has its limitations. One cannot be forced to support a leader with whom confidence is already lost. Support is voluntary and the one giving it has the right and option to withdraw it. The principle is also applicable in the relationship between an appointing authority and an appointee, where the appointee serves only “at the pleasure” of the appointing authority. A simple justification of ‘loss of confidence” is sufficient for the appointee to be asked to resign. Cabinet secretaries serve at the pleasure of the President, and they can be asked to resign anytime. Just as they can resign anytime because of loss of confidence in their leader.

For weeks, the members of the Liberal Party, more particularly the legislators, have been disturbed by what’s going on in government, especially with what’s being revealed in the inquiries in both houses. Some began to have doubts on the party’s support to the president, especially when it was becoming clear that genuine reforms were long in coming.

Party members even met with the president to express their sentiments, unlike other political parties who blindly troop to Malacanang just to act as rah-rah boys to the president.

As a consequence, the party leadership decided to conduct consultation meetings with the membership to get a feel of what direction the party should go. As a dynamic party, the LP should always be pro-active and not simply be a bystander waiting for things to happen.

The consultations were decided to be held in batches in order to make facilitation easier. Meetings were initially held last week and for each scheduled day, a set of invitees were prepared. For Friday, July 8, the meeting was scheduled to be held at Club Filipino starting at 9:00 AM. Because of the president’s announcement the previous night (where she declared she will ask the cabinet to resign), the meeting took on an urgent and crucial character so additional personalities were invited in the last minute. Including Mayor Atienza. In fact, Senator Drilon himself personally invited the party chairman.

As a consultation meeting, it started with the members expressing their views on the current situation. Of course, different opinions came out but one thing is common—the party had to act in light of the sentiments of the members and the events that were happening. The question of what to do and when to it came up. In answer to those questions, the proposal to take a vote was adopted.

There were two votes taken in that meeting. The first one was whether to act now or act later. The general sentiment was that the party had to act with urgency considering the pace at which events were happening. The members did not want to become sideline spectators and wanted the party to take an active stance. So the viva voce vote resulted in an almost unanimous decision to act immediately.

The next issue was what to do. For that, the members gave proposals to be voted upon. The following were forwarded:

1. Maintain support for the president, but with the condition that genuine reforms will be implemented.
2. Ask the President to take Leave of Absence
3. Impeach the President
4. Ask the President to resign

Before taking the actual vote, the question on the nature of the vote was discussed. It was taken into consideration that the body meeting that day was not the whole membership. Upon advise of one of the longest serving party members, Gov. Raul Daza, it was resolved that the vote will be an advisory vote to the Executive Committee which was authorized by the party constitution to make decisions for the party if the National Executive Council (NECO) could not be convened under certain circumstances.

Proponents of each proposal were given the chance to defend the proposal with Sec. Mike Defensor defending the proposal to maintain support. The vote was by secret balloting, with the following results: Resign- 20 votes, Impeach-11 votes, LOA- 1 vote and Maintain Support-1 vote.

The vote was taken just before lunch, around 11:30 AM. The press conference after the vote was aired by delayed telecast around 2:00PM over ANC.

It is unfair for Mayor Atienza to claim that he was not invited to the meeting because as party chairman, he was extended the invitation by the LP secretariat and the president himself. Personalities known to be close associates of the mayor were also present, one them even casting his vote to impeach President Arroyo. Sufficient opportunity for discussion was given to everyone and the mayor’s close associates should have spoken in his behalf or at least express apprehension about the mayor’s absence in the meeting.

Some may see the LP’s action as being opportunistic. Some may see it as an act of patriotism. But actually, it was an act of conscience.

Avatar

leatherneck

July 9th, 2005 at 3:56 pm

JPE calling LP amateurs? He and who else?

The old man is due for retirement. Maybe he is a pro…he was a chief architect of martial law, and trampled on the constitution to oust a president, continue plotting the ouster of another and win by dagdag bawas. Yup. He’s no amateur.

Avatar

daluyong

July 9th, 2005 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for the clarification, leatherneck.

I’m just an ordinary citizen, by the way, and i’m not as privileged as you to be privy to anything. That said, allow me to continue.

Nowhere is the deafening cry that such was an act of patriotism. Maybe in your immediate circles. But outside them, i don’t think so. It was an act of world-class opportunism, if i may say. And if there are bloggers out there who feel the same way, please voice it out.

Allow me to be makulit. Please explain in details, just as you have above, how come Atienza indeed was invited but was not appraised of the importance of what you guys were about to do? Sabi ni Atienza, Drilon invited him casually to a CONSULTATIVE MEETING, not a meeting that would result to such an OFFICIAL PARTY STAND. Whatever your answer is, in any case, I think you guys are headed to a serious party split. I distinctly remember an LP-Fajardo wing in the 80s and I can’t help but contemplate a Drilon- or Atienza-wing in the coming days.

But more than all these, I think here is the implication of whatever you guys tried to pull-off: that series of acts, that attempt at a political coup, was meant to steal the thunder from the rising malcontent and outrage of the people. Just as history would instruct us, whenever the people would rise up and threaten to storm the corridors of power, elite groups of whatever persuasion would try to steal the show so that they could have the power for themselves.

Indeed it was an act of conscience, but only within your circles. I still distinctly remember Drilon’s words while in Iloilo: “Madam President, kung ayaw na sa inyo sa Manila, pwede kayong lumipat dito sa Iloilo!” or words to that effect.

And who could ever forget Senator Pangilinan’s righteous indignation when he was saying ‘NOTED!” alongside now-Secretary Gonzales.

Here’s my take: the Liberal Party, at least its top leadership, was party to the electoral fraud committed by GMA last year against FPJ and the Filipino people. And unless these accomplices present new and more damaging evidence of this electoral fraud, you guys can never hope to force GMA’s hand to relinquish power. Perhaps in a second press conference more dramatic than what happened yesterday?

Lastly, im not a fan of JPE. Neither am I a fan of the current Opposition. I just can’t stand acts of self-serving gestures whenever I see one.

Avatar

leatherneck

July 9th, 2005 at 9:06 pm

Daluyong,

i believe my 7th paragraph explained your question about the nature and character of the meeting.

If you see anyone in government who you don’t see as acting self-serving gestures, just post it here. I’ll be glad to put him or her on a pedestal.

Avatar

leatherneck

July 9th, 2005 at 9:19 pm

Daluyong,

Allow me to be makulit also. You are not just an ordinary citizen. i’m just privileged to have first hand access to information that’s why I refrain from making uninformed speculation.

Unlike the President’s economic adviser who asked Dan Songco of Pagbabago@Pilipinas on ANC “what is your importance compared to the governors who support GMA?”, I still believe that we are all equal under the eyes of God and the law. We just have different accesses to information. That’s why I also can’t stand people who make judgments, conclusions and accusations without having the right information.

The problem with the country now is that the poeple have become pessimistic, suspicious, skeptical and judgemental of ALL politicians. Of course, it’s the poltiicans themselves also who brought it upon themselves. But it’s just unfair to those who serve with sincerity and honesty (I doubt if you’ll believe that, but there still are some left). If the filipinos continue to think that way, who can we count on to serve in government? The decent ones will simply stay away and who will be left behind? Those who are thick-skinned enough to take all the crapo from the people and simply ingratiate themselves.

That’s exactly what happened to the cabinet. The decent ones are those who opted out, not being able to take the heat in Malacanang. These people sacrificed their lucrative careers and peaceful and productive civilian life to serve the people. Unlike those who choose to stay in position (such as the two retired policemen who occupy DOTC and DPWH, the retired general who had to move heaven and earth just to be confirmed as DILG) who need the position more than the position needs them.

Avatar

daluyong

July 10th, 2005 at 8:16 am

Good morning, leatherneck.

Ive just read the Inquirer this morning. My guesswork is confirmed (all you bloggers turn to frontpage, July 10 issue)—Drilon indeed engineered it all. Though of course, he and his partymates vehemently deny everything.

Anyway, leatherneck, it was a GOOD plan and a BOLD one, if i may say. It was even WELL-EXECUTED. I doff my hat (or salakot) to all of you. Had you all succeeded, you would all have our sympathies and accolades. You would have sidelined the fractious Opposition and restored normalcy to the country, at least for the time being.

Now can we all get back to the real work on the real problem at hand? I trust that the debacle would have sobered you guys up so that you will work hand-in-hand with the People from now on. Not with you guys in front but alongside us.

Sorry for the alaska in previous blogs. You still have our respect but not in the amount you want it to be. So please, cut the crap from here on.

Avatar

leatherneck

July 10th, 2005 at 9:08 am

Daluyong,

I just read the article. Ha ha ha! Of course Malacanang sources will say that. It’s now a war of words in the media. Didn’t you notice the mdeia blitz by malacanang yesterday? They hogged the airwaves both tv and radio! They even went on character assassination of the resigned cabinet officials. It’s malacanang going on the offensive. They want to lessen the impact of those calling for GMA’s resignation. And I can’t believe you’re taking it hook line and sinker!

And do you know why newspaper articles are not accepted as evidence? Because you can’t always rely on what is written in it. A journalist cannot be compelled to reveal their “sources”. SO how can you verify the veracity fo the report?

Avatar

leatherneck

July 10th, 2005 at 9:43 am

Daluyong,

Just additional information as food for your thought:

1. VP Noli is in no way politically affiliated with LP.
2. VP Noli is acknowledged as a “pseudo-Nasyonalista”, as one NP member put it.
3. NP members chair the jueteng and wiretap hearings (Villar and Remulla) which despite attempts by admin lawmakers to put to a stop, continue to be heard
4. NP head honcho is Sen. Manny Villar (known in political circles as having a moist eye for the top post)
5. VP Noli is a member of the Wednesday Club, the group of senators who like to take the role of swing vote in the senate, with Villar usually taking the role of Direk
6. VP Noli statements about the situation and his stand echo that of the NP

Take these information and reflect on it (that’s the NP stand, REFLECT. LP is RESIGN, Lakas/Kampi/NPC, etc. REMAIN). Sometimes a left hook form out of the blue is what knocks down a boxer.

Avatar

leatherneck

July 10th, 2005 at 9:52 am

Daluyong,

Allow me to point out to you some information as food for your thought:

1. VP Noli is in no way connected politically with LP.
2. VP Noli is referred to as a “Pseudo-Nasyonalista”, as one NP member put it.
3. VP Noli is identified with the Wednesday CLub, a group of senators who usually take a common stand in the senate, acting as a power block, with Senator Manny Villar usually acting as “DIrek”
4. Sen. Villar is the head honcho of NP, and is known in political circle as having a moist eye for the top post.
5. NP members chair the investigations into jueteng in the senate and wiretap in the house. Despite efforts of admin legislators to stop the hearings, they are still ongoing.
6. VP Noli’s position on the current situation echoes that of the NP (Lakas/Kampi/NPC etc is REMAIN, LP is RESIGN, NP is REFLECT)

Reflect on these, Daluyong, because sometimes the left hook from nowhere is what knocks out the boxer.

Avatar

usda_gradeameat

July 10th, 2005 at 1:02 pm

Hindi po ako magmamarunong na alam ko ang kasagutan sa mga problema ng ating bansa, ngunit isa lang ang malinaw sa akin….WALA NG KARAPATAN PANG MAMUNO SA ATING BANSA SI GLORIA ARROYO. Kung mananatili si Arroyo sa kanyang pwesto, wala na akong nakikita pang dahilan upang sumunod sa batas. Ang ginawang pagtawag ni Arroyo sa isang “kumisyon-er” ng comelec, ay nagbigay sa akin ng karapatan upang magnakaw, manakit at pumatay ng tao. Kung ang pangulo ng bansa ay maaring gumawa ng mali, ng walang “repercussions”, siguro’y nararapat lamang na pakawalan na lahat ng mga kriminal na nakakulong sa ating mga piitan, at isa isang humingi ng dispensa.

Avatar

estudyante

July 10th, 2005 at 6:37 pm

Ok, whatever you say, leatherneck.

But let me just point out some lessons we ought to learn from all these:

1. Cory Aquino did not invent People Power. Therefore as a political force, she might as well be considered as a SPENT one. As a moral force, perhaps. But even this is debatable considering the CBCP’s rather tame and middle-of-the-road position this afternoon.

2. The option of the Noli as VP-then-P has lost its potency, including the Resign scenario. The main obstacle here is GMA’s intransigence which as events would bear out is something no one can do anything about. The decisive hour has passed and has been found wanting. This option, leatherneck, is the “right cross.” Wouldn’t you agree?

3. The ball has shifted back once again to the Opposition. What it (or they?) would do amid all these is something to watch out for in the coming days.

4. The question of who would deliver the final blow is a question of who would hold the reins of power, or at least, the position of primus inter pares. I personally don’t discount the Ramos bloc as stepping in a Palace coup.

5. Hold on tight, everybody, the struggle has become a war of position instead. Just as my name would suggest, a terrible storm is upon all of us. It won’t be quickly ended and the strong winds may blow everybody’s plans to pieces.

May God help this country as we are all teetering on the brink of a civil war.

Avatar

INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Impeachment 101

July 21st, 2005 at 7:20 pm

[…] There are seven LP members in the committee. The party however is split, with one faction votingon July 8 to call for the president’s resignation. There are at least two LP members of the justice committee who are likely to defend the president: Matias Defensor Jr., father of DENR Sec. Mike Defensor, and Rolando Andaya Jr., head of the powerful appropriations committee. Many of the other LP members, however, will likely go for impeachment. […]

Avatar

INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » The president’s gravy train

September 11th, 2005 at 8:50 am

[…] Rep. Ronaldo Zamora said pro-impeachment congressmen at first thought Diaz, a member of the Liberal Party which had called for Arroyo’s resignation last July 10 over the jueteng and “Hello, Garci” scandals rocking her administration, was sympathetic to them. “He came to us and claimed he was outraged” over the House justice committee proceedings, Zamora recalled. […]

Avatar

INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Chito Gascon on the Liberal Party

March 2nd, 2006 at 9:30 pm

[…] But the political crisis precipitated by the "Hello, Garci" scandal involving wiretapped conversations between Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano has left today’s LP greatly divided. Under Senate President Franklin Drilon, the party president, the LP called for Arroyo’s resignation in July last year. A faction identified with Manila Mayor Joselito Atienza, however, disowned the party decision and continues to pledge support for Arroyo. This afternoon’s "ouster" of Drilon in a party assembly called by Atienza’s group to install the Manila mayor as the new president has further deepened the wedge dividing the beleaguered party.  […]

Avatar

INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Comelec to resolve LP dispute

March 6th, 2006 at 1:51 pm

[…] The LP, the country’s second oldest political party, has been split by conflicting positions on the political crisis that has faced the Arroyo administration since last year. In July, the LP, under Drilon, called for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo amid allegations of electoral fraud. But a faction identified with Manila Mayor Lito Atienza has continued to support the president.   […]

Comment Form