MANUEL “Mar” Roxas II, until then the transportation and communication secretary, is the new local government secretary. His successor, until then Cavite Rep. Jose Emilio Abaya, is LP secretary-general.

The appointments of Roxas and Abaya are certain to boost the expansion of the ranks of the Liberals in government, with the May 2013 elections just around the corner.

One of the two oldest political parties in the nation – the other being the Nacionalista Party – the LP or Partido Liberal was born in January 1946 with Roxas’s grandfather and “the first president of the third Philippine Republic,” Manuel Roxas, as founder.

The LP regained political pre-eminence, or “national ruling party status” according to its official website (, with the election in May 2010 of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.

Other than Aquino, Roxas, and Abaya, the other LP stalwarts in senior government positions include Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Sen. Franklin Drilon, who are both LP national vice-chairmen. The party’s roster also counts Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and the late revered DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo.

But the LP’s dominance in contemporary politics, or in top political positions, goes only so far for now.

In terms of the numbers of the LP members in many elective positions across the nation, the LP remains just a small to a fairly significant minority party.

The Liberals make up just close to half of the 80 provincial governors and of the 128 city mayors, across the nation. Party members constitute only a third of the 1,496 municipal mayors.

The LP commands a “majority” in the House but only because of a coalition forged with the National Unity Party – a cluster of former party mates of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from the Lakas-CMD – as well as with House legislators from the Nationalist People’s Coalition and some party-list groups.

In large measure, however, the LP is still a growing party, with members occupying only minorities in elective positions. In recent weeks though, the party’s recruitment of new members from other political parties has started in earnest.

A ranking official says the LP minorities on various levels of elective government positions include as of August 2012:

• four of the 23 senators, including, apart from Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Rafael Recto, and Teofisto Guingona III.
• 88 or 38 percent of the 230 district representatives in the House.
• 37 or 46 percent of the 80 provincial governors
• 24 or 30 percent of the 80 provincial vice governors
• 206 or 26 percent of 786 provincial board members
• 58 or 45 percent of the 128 city mayors
• 41 or 29 percent of 138 city vice mayors
• 430 or 31 percent of 1,380 city councilors
• 487 or 32 percent of 1,496 municipal mayors
• 282 or 18.8 percent of 1,496 municipal vice mayors
• 1,089 or 9 percent of 11,968 municipal councilors

Comment Form