Liberal Party (Philippines)
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Liberal Party Philippines

Liberal Party

Partido Liberal ng Pilipinas
PresidentFrancis Pangilinan
ChairmanLeni Robredo
Secretary-GeneralJose Christopher "Kit" Belmonte
FounderManuel Roxas
Elpidio Quirino
FoundedJanuary 19, 1946; 74 years ago (1946-01-19)
Split fromNacionalista Party
HeadquartersBalay Expo Centro Building, EDSA corner General McArthur Avenue, Araneta City, Cubao, Quezon City, 1109 Metro Manila
Think tankCenter for Liberalism and Democracy[1]
Youth wingLiberal Youth (LY)
Political positionCentre[5] to centre-left[2][6]
National affiliationOtso Diretso
International affiliation
Colors               Yellow, red, blue
SloganBago. Bukas. Liberal.
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), or LP, is a liberal[7]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. It is originally a breakaway liberal wing of the old Nacionalista Party. It was the ruling party from 2010 to 2016 after the election victory of Benigno Aquino III as the President of the Philippines. The party lost control in the 2016 presidential election and became the leading opposition party. As of the 2019 midterm elections, the party is still the primary opposition party and hold three seats in the Senate, 18 seats in the House of Representatives, two provincial governorships, and five vice governorships.

The Liberal Party is the second oldest extant political party in the Philippines in terms of date of establishment, and the oldest continually-active[clarification needed] political party in the Philippines. The party has been led by liberal thinkers and pro-development[clarification needed] 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. Two of its members, Corazon Aquino and Leila de Lima, have received the prestigious Prize for Freedom, the highest international award for liberal and democratic politicians since 1985.[importance?]


The Liberal Party logo during the term of President Noynoy Aquino from 2010 to 2016.

1946-1972: Third Republic

The Liberal Party was founded on January 19, 1946 by Manuel Roxas,[8][2] the first President of the Third Philippine Republic.[8] It was formed by Roxas from what was once the "Liberal Wing" of the Nacionalista Party.[8] Two more Presidents of the Philippines elected into office came from the LP: Elpidio Quirino and Diosdado Macapagal.[9][10] Two other presidents came from the ranks of the LP, as former members of the party who later joined the Nacionalistas: Ramon Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos.[11]

1972-1986: Martial law era

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 hound President Marcos 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.[unbalanced opinion?][2][8]

1986-2010: Post-EDSA

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. In 2000, it stood against the corruption of the Joseph Estrada government, actively supporting the Resign-Impeach-Oust initiatives that led to People Power II.[2][8]

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.[unbalanced opinion?] Days later, the Supreme Court proclaimed Drilon the true president of the party, leaving the Atienza wing expelled.[2][8]

2010-2016: The Benigno Aquino III administration

The Liberal Party regained influence in 2010 when it nominated as its next presidential candidate then-Senator Benigno Aquino III,[8] 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 gave way to Aquino and instead ran for vice president. 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.[2][8][6]


In 2016 presidential elections, Liberal Party nominated Mar Roxas, former DOTC and DILG secretary and Leni Robredo, a Representative from Naga City and widow of former DILG secretary Jessie Robredo. The latter won and the former lost.[clarification needed] Most of their members either switched allegiance to PDP-Laban, joined a supermajority alliance but retained LP membership (with some defected later),[incomprehensible][12][13][14] joined minority, or created an opposition bloc called "Magnificent 7".

As early as February 2017, the leaders of the Liberal Party chose to focus on rebuilding the party by inviting sectoral membership of non-politicians.[15] The party has been inducting new members who are non-politicians since then, some of whom applied online through the party's website,[16][17][18] Before the scheduled 2019 general elections, the LP formed the Oposisyon Koalisyon (Opposition Coalition or OK), an electoral coalition led by the party that also comprises members of the Magdalo Party-List, Akbayan Citizens Action Party, and Aksyon Demokratiko along with independent candidates.[19][20][21] The coalition hopes to drive a new political culture based on political leaders practicing "makiking, matuto, kumilos" (listen, learn, take action), each candidate emphasizing the need for government to listen to its citizens.[22] As part of the Liberal Party's efforts to instill this new political culture, it launched Project Makining in October 2018, a modern, nationwide listening campaign using technology and driven by volunteers.[23][non-primary source needed]


The party currently adopts liberalism as its main ideology. According to its values charter, the self-described values of the party are "freedom, justice and solidarity (bayanihan)."[24][25][non-primary source needed]

Historically, the party's ideology during its early years was noted by some political observers to be similar to or indistinguishable from the Nacionalista Party,[26][27] until the term of Ferdinand Marcos, where it became more liberal.[28]

Current party officials


Term in Office Name
January 19, 1946 - April 15, 1948 Manuel Roxas[8]
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
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
August 8, 2016 - present Francis Pangilinan

Electoral performance


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%
1947 12,241,929 54.5%
1949 12,782,449 52.5%
1951 8,764,190 39.9%
1953 8,861,244 36.0%
1955 7,395,988 28.9%
1957 8,934,218 31.8%
1959 10,850,799 31.7%
1961 14,988,931 37.9%
1963 22,794,310 49.8%
1965 23,158,197 46.9%
1967 18,127,926 37.1%
1969 21,060,474 39.1%
1971 33,469,677 57.4%
1987 N/A N/A N/A N/A Won under the LABAN coalition
1992* 19,158,013 6.9%
1995 N/A N/A N/A N/A Did not participate
1998 5,429,123 2.6%
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[31]
2019 43,273,583 11.97%

*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%
1949 1,834,173 53.00%
1953 1,624,571 39.81%
1957 1,453,527 30.16%
1961 2,167,641 33.71%
1965 3,721,460 51.32%
1969 2,641,786 41.76%
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%
Lakas-NUCD-UMDP-led coalition
Lakas-CMD-led coalition
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
2019 2,321,759 5.78%

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

Notable members

Philippine presidents




  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Southeast Asia In The New International Era". 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ Hutchcroft, P. (2016). Mindanao: The Long Journey to Peace and Prosperity Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Anvil Publishing, Inc. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Values Charter - Liberal Party of the Philippines
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  28. ^ "What Is Liberalism, and Why Is It Such a Dirty Word?". Retrieved 2018.
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  30. ^ a b "LP appoints Baguilat, Tañada to key party posts". Liberal Party of the Philippines. August 16, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ a b "It's final: LP completes 12-person Senate slate". Rappler. October 11, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  32. ^ "LOOK: Leni Robredo takes oath of office as Vice President of the Philippines". CNN Philippines. June 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.

External links

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