Press Release
June 30, 2006

Drilon confirms talks for possible LP, NP coalition in 2007 elections

Senate President and Liberal Party head Franklin Drilon today confirmed reports that a proposal has been made and talks may be in the offing for a possible coalition between the LP and the Nacionalista Party (NP) in the 2007 elections.

Responding to reporters' queries, Drilon said the proposal was first broached by LP Chairman, Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan, who suggested that the LP under Drilon and the NP under Sen. Many Villar, could coalesce into a "political third force" that would help usher the country out of its present political stalemate.

"The proposal for a possible coalition between the LP and the NP in the 2007 elections was made by LP Chairman Sen. Pangilinan sometime ago," Drilon said. "I assume the discussions will soon be underway."

"I believe both the LP and the NP share a common vision on instituting the much-needed reforms in our present political party system," Drilon said.

"Both the LP and NP are relentlessly pushing for the establishment of ideology-based politics that will finally put an end to this ugly politics of personalities and patronage now prevailing in the Philippines," Drilon added. "We should choose our leaders according to the platform of government they can offer."

Sen. Ralph Recto, a member of the NP, told Senate reporters that talks between LP and NP leaders may soon commence for a possible coalition to strengthen their senatorial, congressional and local line-ups in the 2007 polls.

With less than a year to go before the elections, Recto said he expected the leaders of the two parties to finalize the talks "between now and December."

Pangilinan, a member of the so-called Senate Wednesday Group composed of Recto, Villar and Sen. Joker Arroyo, assumed the chairmanship of the LP after erstwhile LP national chairman, Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, was deemed resigned from the party for holding a rump national assembly at the Manila Hotel earlier this year. Pangilinan, Recto, Villar and Arroyo are up for reelection next year.

Last week, Drilon hosted over 100 international liberal leaders from 30 countries who attended the joint Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and Liberal International (LI) Meeting in Manila, Cavite and Tagaytay. Drilon is the present chairman of CALD.

During a liberal public forum held at the La Salle University last June 23, British Member of the European Parliament Graham Watson, who is also ALDE chairman, commended Drilon for his relentless efforts in advocating liberal democratic principles in the face of what Watson described as "presidential terrorism" in the Philippines.

Watson cited Drilon's efforts to maintain the independence of the Senate from Malacanang and his role in contesting before the Supreme Court a number of President Arroyo's questionable orders such as Presidential Proclamation 1017 and Presidential Order 464.

In his speech before the international Liberal leaders, Drilon said the tasks of providing good governance for Filipinos and fighting public corruption can only be effective in a democracy, where accountability is mandatory for public officials and where there is a strong and independent judiciary and a resolute and vigilant media.

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