Press Release
November 26, 2007


Senator Mar Roxas, the newly elected president of the illustrious Liberal Party, has pledged to build a strong, united and modern party that is attuned to the modern world but rooted in the party's core values and traditions.

In his acceptance speech, Senator Roxas described the LP party's core beliefs: conscience over ambition, principles above glory and integrity over power.

"I accept the solemn duty of securing the best future for our country through the leadership of our party. I call on you to come along, roll up your sleeves, open your hearts and re-discover that inner touchstone of idealism that once had called us to public service," he said in his acceptance speech.

"We will win because we are fighting for the poor, the helpless, the discouraged, all who only want a decent life and a chance to make their way in this world. In this and in the many battles ahead of us, I shall not let you down," he stressed.

Roxas, who won the party presidency by a unanimous vote, added that the doors to dialogue and unity would always be open to all, but not at the expense of the party's independence.

"My leadership is not subject to hostage taking. We will do what is best for our party, we will do what is best for our country and we will do what is right," he said during a press conference held after the LP-National Executive Council at the historic Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan.

"That has been the hallmark of the Liberal Party: one of tolerance, continuous dialogue, one of consensus-building. So even as we continue and reach out to all, we will also never surrender or put into jeopardy the very principles that make us the Liberal Party, a party that stands for freedom, justice and the rule of law," he added.

In his acceptance speech, Roxas said it is time for change and renewal and to win back for the people their birthright to lead robust healthy lives, to their fair share in the benefits of a growing economy, and to justice, security, peace and predictability in their lives.

"One cannot be a part of our beloved Liberal Party and ignore the assaults to our democracy and freedoms as signified by the subversion of our institutions, the number of unresolved killings of journalists and activists, the widespread graft and corruption, and the callous sense of impunity held by those supposed to be accountable to the people," he said.

"Whenever policy is wrong, we are the party that will say "no!" and make an honest and determined effort to provide solutions," he stressed.

Roxas pledged to work, starting day one of his party presidency, to win back for the people the kind of government "that reflects our people's honesty, decency, competence and hard work."

"The people believe that their leaders are more preoccupied with self-interest rather than with genuine public service. We see and feel the helplessness, the cynicism, the despair, and eventually the estrangement of our people," he stressed.

"We believe that the people are the masters of government and not the government as master of the people," he said.

Roxas urged his colleagues to join him and "work even harder and with greater urgency to change our country. We have to do it together as an organized movement based on values, on ideas, on competence, and on vision."

'The victory we seek is the victory of the Filipino people. Their fight is our fight," he said.

"Ngayon ay oras na para tayo naman ang humarap sa hamon ng kasaysayan, upang manindigan at lumaban," he stressed.

The LP-NECO meet was attended by Liberals from the Senate to the municipal mayors and councilors, including: Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and former Senate President Jovito Salonga; former LP Presidents Raul Daza, Wigberto Tañada and Florencio Abad; outgoing LP president and former Senate President Franklin Drilon;

Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan and Senators Benigno Aquino Jr. and Rodolfo Biazon; legislators from the House, including Reps. Erin Tañada, Ruffy Biazon, Maria Evita Arago, Glenn Chong and Jun Abaya; and local government executives, including Quezon Gov. Raffy Nantes, Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca, Iloilo Gov. Neal Tupaz and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, who is also a Magsaysay Awardee.

Other prominent leaders who are not from the LP also attended the meeting, led by former President Corazon Aquino; Past and current local government officials, including Tarlac Gov. Vic Yap, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena, former Bulacan Gov. Josie dela Cruz;

Civil society personalities, including former Social Welfare Sec. Corazon Soliman, Enteng Romano and Leah Navarro and of the Black and White Movement; Leaders of party-list groups, including Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and former Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales; and other political personalities from various party lines, including House Deputy Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales and Genuine Opposition Spokesman Adel Tamano.

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