Senator Pangilinan quits as LP prexy, Congressman Belmonte steps down as Secgen

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DAVAO CITY (May 22) — Senator Francis Pangilinan yesterday stepped down as president of the opposition Liberal Party after none of their candidates won the senatorial race in the May 13 mid-term elections.

On the same day, Reelected Quezon City 6th District Representative Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte also resigned as the Secretary general of LP.

In a statement on Tuesday, Pangilinan said he takes responsibility for the complete shutout of their candidates.

The statement added “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.”

The senator submitted his resignation letter to LP chairperson Vice President Leni Robredo.

Members of the LP did not expect Pangilinan’s resignation.

Senate Minority Leader Senator Franklin Drilon in a separate statement said “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.”

Drilon claimed Pangilinan worked hard for Otso Diretso candidates “Unfortunately, we lost.”

But Drilon said, adding the LP will convince Pangilinan to reconsider his decision.

“While his resignation is a class act, we hope that he will reconsider his decision,” Drilon said. “We will try to convince him to reconsider his decision and ask the party leadership to not accept his resignation.”

Robredo, however, rejected Pangilinan and Belmonte’s resignation.

Robredo’s spokesperson Attorney Barry Guteirrez, in a statement said “The Vice President has not accepted Senator Kiko’s and Cong. Kit’s resignations. Much work remains to be done, and they will do it, together.”

This developed as Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo commened Pangilinan’s decision to resign from LP, saying its shows that he accepts defeat.

Panelo does not want to give comments since the matter is internal to the opposition’s political party.

The President’s spokesman instead gave his insights why the LP lost, and that is, the Filipino people did not believe in the opposition candidates’ propaganda against the President. 

“Hindi. Sa amin kaya natalo sila ay ‘yung taumbayan ay hindi naniwala sa kanila. Mas naniwala kay President Duterte,” he said. 

“Kasi ang ginawa nila referendum daw kay Presidente Duterte, ‘yun ang banat nila. This is the referendum of the performance of this President. ‘Yun ang isyu. They didn’t raise the issue against the candidates endorsed by the President or Mayor Sara,” he

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