Press Release
January 12, 2006

Liberal Party to hold three-day celebration to commemorate 60th anniversary

To commemorate its 60th founding anniversary, the Liberal Party (LP) will hold a three-day celebration with activities nationwide that will culminate with a testimonial luncheon in honor of former Senate President Jovito R. Salonga, chairman emeritus of the party, on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Incumbent Senate President and LP head Franklin Drilon said the theme of the celebration will be "Honoring and celebrating our traditions: leading the way of reforms towards a liberating society." The activities will start on Thursday, Jan. 19.

"The three-day celebration is a combination of looking back on the history and milestones of the Liberal Party in the past 60 years, celebrating its recent successes in rebuilding the party and reaffirming its vision of establishing a vibrant and progressive liberal democracy in the Philippines," Drilon said.

The LP anniversary celebration will start with Asian Regional Conference on Liberalism and Democracy in Asia to be held at the Dusit Hotel in Makati City on Thursday, according to Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan, LP vice chairman and chairman of the 60th Anniversary Celebration Committee.

It will be followed by a book launching by Liberal Philippines later at the same venue. The book will contain case studies on the unique election experiences of two reform-oriented local politicians, LP Reps. Neric Acosta of Bukidnon and Dina Abad of Batanes. In the evening, Mayor Lito Atienza, LP national chairman, will sponsor a dinner for LP members and guests at the Plaza Raja Sulayman in Manila.

On Jan. 20, a LP photo exhibit will be opened and a pamphlet on the LP Historical Milestones will be launched at the Ali Mall in Cubao, Quezon City. The activities are sponsored by the National Institute on Policy Studies, Liberal Philippines and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

On the same day, local LP charter celebrations will be held simultaneously in Benguet, La Union, Cagayan, Cavite, Lucena, Naga City, Guimaras, Capiz, Caraga Region, Bukidnon, Davao City and Muntinlupa City.

Pangilinan said the local LP charter activities range from medical outreach missions, a technology caravan, inauguration of local charter headquarters, a liberal public forum on charter change and tree-planting.

On Jan. 21, a testimonial lunch in honor of Salonga will be held at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan, which will be attended by members of the LP National Executive Committee and guests.

An award ceremony will later be held for the winners of the Liberal Essay Writing Contest sponsored by Liberal Philippines and Kalipi, the youth arm of the LP.

Salonga was considered as one of the "big three" in the LP during the Martial Law years, fighting the dictatorship alongside Senators Gerry Roxas, then LP President, and Ninoy Aquino, then LP Secretary General.

Salonga is also credited with institutionalizing the transformation of the LP from one of the two supposed "elite" political parties when he drafted the Party's progressive post-Martial Law Program of Government during his exile in 1982. He reorganized the Party at his return in 1982 and became Party president from that year until 1993, one of the longest presidencies in the history of the LP. Salonga was also the leader of the Philippine Liberals when an LP-led Senate rejected the US Bases Treaty in 1991.

"Former Sen. Jovito Salonga is a source of pride not only to the LP but more importantly to the nation in general," Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan, Vice Chairman of the LP and Chairman of the 60th Anniversary Celebration Committee, said.

"His association with the LP contributed greatly to the Party's thrust toward transparency and responsibility in governance. Senator Salonga's dedication to prevent corruption in government and his major contribution to Philippine legislation has benefited the country enormously."

Three Liberals will be giving the testimonials during the luncheon. These are Sen. Mar Roxas, House Deputy Speaker Noynoy Aquino, and Northern Samar Gov. Raul Daza.

Aside from the testimonials, Drilon will be giving the anniversary speech during the luncheon. Pangilinan will give the opening remarks, while Atienza, will give the welcome remarks. Sen. Rodolfo Biazon will give the closing remarks.

A multimedia presentation entitled "Liberal Party at 60" will also be presented during the luncheon. This will feature sixty years of the Liberal experience in the Philippines, showcasing the rich history and tradition that the LP has built in the last six decades.

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