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Liberal Party (Philippines)

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Liberal Party
Partido Liberal ng Pilipinas
President Francis Pangilinan (acting) [1]
Chairman Leni Robredo
Secretary-General Josephine Sato
Founder Manuel Roxas
Founded January 19, 1946; 71 years ago (1946-01-19)
Split from Nacionalista Party (opposition)
Headquarters Expo Centro, Araneta Center, EDSA Cubao, Quezon City
Youth wing Liberal Party Youth
Ideology Liberalism (Filipino)
Liberal democracy
Social justice
Social liberalism
Political position Centre-left
International affiliation Liberal International,
Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats
Colors                Yellow, Red, and Blue
Slogan Ituloy ang Daang Matuwid
Seats in the Senate
Seats in the House of Representatives
Provincial governorships
Provincial vice governorships
Provincial board members

The Liberal Party of the Philippines (Filipino: Partido Liberal ng Pilipinas) is a liberal political party in the Philippines, founded by then senators Senate President Manuel Roxas, Senate President Pro-Tempore Elpidio Quirino, and former 9th Senatorial District Senator José Avelino, on January 19, 1946 by a breakaway Liberal wing from the old Nacionalista Party. It was the ruling party after the election victory of Benigno Aquino III as the President of the Philippines. Today, The Liberals control the Senate, while they are the minority in the House of Representatives

The Liberal Party is the second oldest extant political party in the Philippines in terms of date of establishment, and the oldest continually-active political party in the Philippines. The party has been led by respected liberal thinkers and pro-development politicians like Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Diosdado Macapagal, Gerry Roxas, Benigno Aquino, Jr., Jovito Salonga, Raul Daza, Florencio B. Abad, Jr., Franklin Drilon, Mar Roxas, and Benigno Aquino III.


Liberal Party logo, 1946–2011

The Party was founded on January 19, 1946 by Manuel Roxas, the first President of the Third Philippine Republic. It was formed by Roxas from what was once the "Liberal Wing" of the old Nacionalista Party. Two more Presidents of the Philippines elected into office came from the LP: Elpidio Quirino and the redoubtable Diosdado Macapagal. Two other presidents came from the ranks of the LP, as former members of the party who later chose to follow a different path by joining the Nacionalistas: Ramon Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos.

During the days leading to his declaration of martial law, Marcos would find his old party as a potent roadblock to his quest for one-man rule. Led by Ninoy Aquino, Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, the LP would time and again hound the would-be dictator on issues like human rights and the curtailment of freedoms. Not even Marcos' declaration of martial law silenced the LP, and the party continued to fight the dictatorship despite the costs. Many of its leaders and members would be prosecuted and even killed during this time.

In recent times, the LP was instrumental in ending more than half a century of US military presence in the Philippines with its campaign in the Philippine Senate of 1991 to reject a new RP-US Bases Treaty. This ironically cost the party dearly, losing for it the elections of 1992. Despite the loss, in 2000 it again showed its mettle by standing against the corruption of the Joseph Estrada government, actively supporting the Resign-Impeach-Oust initiatives that led to People Power II.

In 2006, the Philippines' ruling political party, Lakas-CMD, with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo serving as its supremo, was influential in "hijacking" the Liberal Party by way of overthrowing the party presidency of Sen. Franklin Drilon at a rump party meeting at the Manila Hotel. With the marching orders and blessing of Lakas, LP members sympathetic to the Arroyo government used the meeting on March 2 to install Manila Mayor Lito Atienza as the party president, thus triggering an LP leadership struggle and party schism. Days later, the Supreme Court proclaimed Drilon the true president of the party, leaving the Atienza wing expelled.

The Liberal Party regained new influence in 2010 when it nominated as its next presidential candidate then-Senator Benigno Aquino III, the son of former President Corazon Aquino, after the latter's death that subsequently showed a massive outpouring of sympathy for the Aquino family. Even though the party had earlier nominated Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II to be its presidential candidate for the 2010 Philippine general election, Roxas chose to give way to Aquino and ran for vice president instead. During the fierce campaign battle that followed, the party was able to field new members breaking away from the then-ruling party Lakas Kampi CMD to become the largest minority party in Congress.


The party is in the "third way" or centre of the political spectrum. It likes to distance itself from the political extremes on the left and right.

Current party officials


Term in Office Name
January 19, 1946 – April 15, 1948 Manuel Roxas
January 19, 1946 – May 8, 1949 José Avelino
April 17, 1948 – December 30, 1950 Elpidio Quirino
December 30, 1950 – December 30, 1957 Eugenio Pérez
December 30, 1957 – December 30, 1961 Diosdado Macapagal
December 30, 1961 – December 30, 1965 Diosdado Macapagal
May 1964 – May 10, 1969 Cornelio T. Villareal
May 10, 1969 – April 19, 1982 Gerardo Roxas
April 20, 1982 – June 1, 1993 Jovito Salonga
June 2, 1993 – October 17, 1994 Wigberto Tañada
October 18, 1994 – September 19, 1999 Raul A. Daza
September 20, 1999 – August 9, 2004 Florencio Abad
October 1, 2012 – 2016 Joseph Emilio Abaya
2016 – present Francis Pangilinan

Electoral performance

Liberal Party Logo from 1946-2011


Election Candidate Number of votes Share of votes Outcome of election
1946 Manuel Roxas 1,333,392 54.94% Won
1949 Elpidio Quirino (Quirino wing) 1,803,808 50.93% Won
1949 José Avelino (Avelino wing) 419,890 11.85% Lost
1953 Elpidio Quirino 1,313,991 31.08% Lost
1957 José Yulo 1,386,829 27.62% Lost
1961 Diosdado Macapagal 3,554,840 55.00% Won
1965 Diosdado Macapagal 3,187,752 42.88% Lost
1969 Sergio Osmeña, Jr. 3,143,122 38.51% Lost
1981 N/A N/A N/A Boycotted
1986 N/A N/A N/A Supported Corazon Aquino who became president
1992 Jovito Salonga 2,302,123 10.16% Lost
1998 Alfredo Lim 2,344,362 8.71% Lost
2004 N/A N/A N/A Supported Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who won
2010 Benigno Aquino III 15,208,678 42.08% Won
2016 Mar Roxas 9,978,175 23.45% Lost

Vice president

Election Candidate Number of votes Share of votes Outcome of election
1946 Elpidio Quirino 1,161,725 52.36% Won
1949 Fernando Lopez (Quirino wing) 1,341,284 52.19% Won
1949 Vicente J. Francisco (Avelino wing) 44,510 1.73% Lost
1953 José Yulo 1,483,802 37.10% Lost
1957 Diosdado Macapagal 2,189,197 46.55% Won
1961 Emmanuel Pelaez 2,394,400 37.57% Won
1965 Gerardo Roxas 3,504,826 48.12% Lost
1969 Genaro Magsaysay 2,968,526 37.54% Lost
1986 Eva Estrada-Kalaw (Kalaw wing) 662,185 3.31% Lost; main wing supported Salvador Laurel who became vice president
1992 N/A N/A N/A Supported Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. who lost
1998 Sergio Osmeña III 2,351,462 9.20% Lost
2004 N/A N/A N/A Supported Noli de Castro who won
2010 Mar Roxas 13,918,490 39.58% Lost
2016 Leni Robredo 14,418,817 35.11% Won


Election Number of votes Share of votes Seats won Seats after Outcome of election
1946 8,626,965 47.7% Coalition
1947 12,241,929 54.5% Won
1949 12,782,449 52.5% Won
1951 8,764,190 39.9% Won
1953 8,861,244 36.0% Lost
1955 7,395,988 28.9% Lost
1957 8,934,218 31.8% Lost
1959 10,850,799 31.7% Lost
1961 14,988,931 37.9% Lost
1963 22,794,310 49.8% Won
1965 23,158,197 46.9% Lost
1967 18,127,926 37.1% Lost
1969 21,060,474 39.1% Lost
1971 33,469,677 57.4% Lost
1987 N/A N/A N/A N/A Won under the LABAN coalition
1992* 19,158,013 6.9% Lost
1995 N/A N/A N/A N/A Did not participate
1998 5,429,123 2.6% Lost
2001 19,131,732 7.9% Independent-led coalition
2004 30,008,158 12.0% Liberal Party-led coalition
2007 28,843,415 10.7% Nacionalista Party-led coalition
2010 78,227,817 26.34% PMP-led coalition
2013 33,369,204 11.32% Liberal Party-led coalition
2016 100,512,795 31.30% Split; PDP-Laban-led coalition, lost

*in coalition with PDP-Laban

House of Representatives

Election Number of votes Share of votes Seats Outcome of election
1946 1,129,971 47.06% Won
1949 1,834,173 53.00% Won
1953 1,624,571 39.81% Won
1957 1,453,527 30.16% Lost
1961 2,167,641 33.71% Lost
1965 3,721,460 51.32% Won
1969 2,641,786 41.76% Lost
1978 N/A N/A N/A Boycotted; most members ran under the LABAN that lost
1984 N/A N/A N/A Boycotted; most members ran under the LABAN that lost
1987* 2,101,575 10.5% Lakas ng Bansa-led coalition
1992** 1,644,568 8.8% Lakas-NUCD-UMDP-led coalition
1995* 358,245 1.9% Lakas-NUCD-UMDP-led coalition
1998* 1,773,124 7.3% Lost
2001 Lakas-NUCD-UMDP-led coalition
2004 Lakas-CMD-led coalition
2007 Lakas-CMD-led coalition
2010 6,802,227 19.93% Liberal Party-led coalition
2013 10,557,265 38.27% Liberal Party-led coalition
2016 15,552,401 41.72% Split; PDP-Laban-led coalition, lost

*does not include candidates who ran as under a Liberal Party ticket along with another party.
**in coalition with PDP-Laban

Notable members

Elected Philippine President


Parties in coalition with the Liberal Party

See also


External links