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 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 the LP leadership struggle/schism. Days later, the Supreme Court then 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.

Liberal leaders[edit]

See also[edit]