Liberalism in the Philippines

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This article gives an overview of liberalism in the Philippines. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in Congress.


After the independence the Philippines became bi-partisan state, in which one of the dominant forces was the Liberal Party. It remained a major democratic political force during and after the dictatorship. The Liberal Party (a LI and CALD member party) is a center liberal party.

The timeline[edit]

Liberal Party[edit]

  • 1946: Left-wing elements of the Nacionalista Party established the Liberal Party under the leadership of Manuel Roxas and Elpidio Quirino.
  • 1957: A faction established the Democratic Party.
  • 1959: Most of the Progressive Party joined the party.
  • 1972: The party, led by Benigno Aquino, Jr., is banned.
  • 1978: The party became active in the Lakas ng Bayan movement.
  • 1985: The party is refounded.
  • 1992: The party, under the leadership of Sen. Jovito Salonga, forms a coalition with the PDP-Laban led by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel to join the presidential election with Salonga and Pimentel running for President and Vice-President respectively. Despite the party's popularity with the youth (Salonga and Pimentel topped most surveys in Colleges and Universities in the Philippines), Salonga finishes fifth.
  • 2006: The Philippines' ruling political party, Lakas-CMD, with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as its supremo, was influential in "hijacking" the Liberal Party by way of overthrowing the presidency of Sen. Franklin Drilon from the party through a rump Liberal Party meeting at the Manila Hotel. With the marching orders and blessings of Lakas, LP members sympathetic to the Arroyo administration used the meeting on March 2 to install Manila Mayor Lito Atienza as the party president, thus triggering an LP leadership struggle and schism. Days later, however, the Supreme Court proclaimed Drilon the true president of the party, leaving the Atienza wing expelled.
  • 2010: Liberal Party's Benigno Aquino III was inaugurated as the Philippines' 15th President.
  • 2016: Liberal Party's Leni Robredo was inaugurated as the Philippines' 14th Vice President.

Liberal leaders[edit]

See also[edit]