Press Release
February 9, 2007

No to partisan politics

Senator Edgardo J. Angara today called for national unity and reconciliation amid the highly-charged political tug-of-war, and urged national leaders to look beyond partisan politics.

Addressing the national officers of the dominant party Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) during its National Executive Council Meeting, LDP President Angara urged his party mates to join in moving the country forward, rather than becoming cause of deeper political divisiveness.

"Let us show the nation that we can be united, not only in pork barrel, but more importantly, in providing a brighter future for each and every Filipino. Leaders must come together not necessarily because they like each other, but because they stand on common principle and fight for common values. We, as politicians and leaders, must show them that we have a common vision, a solid platform of government to offer our people," Angara said.

On Wednesday, Angara accepted the offer of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to join the administration's Team Unity. He now joins former LDP party-mates former senators Vicente Sotto III and Tessie Aquino-Oreta in the administration coalition.

But Angara assured that he stays with the LDP and continues to maintain independence of mind.

"I am not switching political affiliation. I shall continue to be and remain in LDP, the only political party I joined during my entire political career. I am joining a unity ticket where people of different opinions come together for the sake of national progress and unity," Angara said.

He added, "politics is deteriorating, stuck in hate and negativism, which I reject. Politics should be relevant to the lives of people. We should not be seen as a destructive force, which in fact has caused people's wide mistrust of politicians."

"What we need are serious and meaningful legislation which can only be achieved through consensus lawmakers mature enough to strike productive bipartisanship," said Angara.

He stressed the need for a consensual rather than confrontational, and constructive rather than destructive brand of politics in order to successfully push for reforms. As the longest-serving legislator, Angara was responsible for numerous major reform laws in education, health, rural development, social welfare, good governance, economic and financial, and arts & culture.

Upon joining the administration ticket, Angara said he remains committed to pursuing more initiatives that will help move the country forward. He said he joined the unity coalition on clear understanding that key programs in social expenditures, education, health, infrastructure, agricultural modernization, job-creation, environmental protection will be priority.

"This unity for a common purpose is critical at this time for the country's future. The economy is moving and we must consolidate those gains. It is about time politicians of whatever persuasion come together to push this momentum, for the time of divisive politics has reduced our nation to unexplainable poverty," Angara said.

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