‘Kiko’ quits as Liberal Party head

Francis Pangilinan
Francis Pangilinan

SENATOR Francis “Kiko”Pangilinan has offered to resign as president of he Liberal Party following the failure of all the eight bets of the opposition to land a place in the Top 12 in the last midterm elections.

Pangilinan said that he takes all the blame for the failed bid of Otso Diretso as its campaign manager.

His resignation letter was sent to LP chairperson Vice President Leni Robredo who reportedly did not accept it.

“As campaign manager for the Otso Diretso slate, I was unable to ensure our victory in the elections and I therefore assume full responsibility for the outcome and hold myself primarily accountable for this defeat and have tendered my resignation as president of the LP effective June 30, 2019,” said ni Pangilinan.

Despite this, Pangilinan pressed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate the reports on election fraud primarily on the seven-hour glitch in the transparency server, the failure of vote counting machines (VCMs) and the SD cards which did not work.

Following this, Senate Minority Leader and Liberal Party Vice Chairperson Franklin Drilon came threw his support behind Pangilinan saying that the party president worked very hard and diligently to campaign for Otso Diretso candidates.

“Unfortunately, we lost,” Drilon admitted in a statement.

“We are deeply saddened by his resignation as our party president. We did not expect it, especially in times like this when we need a steady hand to lead the party alongside Vice President Leni Robredo,” he added.

Palace reaction

Malacanang commended Senator Pangilinan’s decision to resign as president of the Liberal Party after the opposition Otso Diretso’s crushing defeat in the 2019 midterm elections.“That’s commendable. He accepts defeat,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said at a news conference.

Pangilinan and LP secretary general and Quezon City Representative Kit Belmonte resigned as they took responsibility for the complete shutout of the eight-member opposition slate in the May 13 elections where 12 seats were up for grabs.

But Vice President Leni Robredo, who serves as LP chairperson, rejected the resignations of Pangilinan and Belmonte.

“Much work remains to be done, and they will do it together,” lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, said in a statement.

Panelo said the opposition candidates made the President, who was not on the ballot, an issue in the elections when they should have focused on differentiating themselves from their administration-backed rivals.

“Kaya natalo sila dahil ‘yung taumbayan ay hindi naniwala sa kanila. Mas naniwala kay Presidente Duterte. Kasi ang ginawa nila referendum daw kay Presidente Duterte. ‘Yun ang banat nila eh,” he said.

With EMontano