The CALD secretariat, led by Dr. Neric
Acosta, secretary general of CALD, joined the festivities of the Liberal Party
of the Philippines (LP) yesterday at the Kalayaan Hall of Club Filipino in
Manila to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the oldest political
party in the Philippines. The historic
Kalayaan Hall was the venue where democracy icon, Cory Aquino, took her oath as
the 11th President of the Republic of the Philippines. This is also
where the current president, H.E. Noynoy Aquino, announced his bid for
presidency in 2010. The LP is a founding member of the Council of Asian
Liberals and Democrats.
The celebration commenced with a welcome
message from former senator Mar Roxas who was re-elected as LP president during
the party's National Executive Council meeting. He said that the LP is far from
retiring even at the age of 65 and that it will continue to rise, fight and
stand up against those who would destroy the democratic foundations of the country.
Mr. Roxas shared that LP has a tough road ahead, but with the principles of
freedom and democracy as guideposts, liberals would be able to overcome the
challenges that face the country. He also noted that reform and change are the
key elements that can help the party provide a more promising future for
President Noynoy Aquino gave the keynote
address and provided an inspiring party message that acknowledged that LP is
ready to fulfill every Filipino's dream of achieving good governance, honest
public service, trustworthy institutions, and effective development programs
that will help uplift the country from corruption, poverty, and abuse of power.
President Aquino recalled the sacrifices that the liberal leaders experienced
before that even through the darkest days of the country, liberals stood up and
fought against the dictatorship and restored the freedoms of the Filipino
people. He said that the current generation of liberals is now reaping that
harvest. He thanked Mr. Roxas for choosing to unite the party and now that
liberals are in power, every Filipino can dream again. He highlighted that with
a liberal government, promises will not be broken and the road to a clean and
honest leadership will not be derailed. More importantly, President Aquino affirmed
that he is truly a liberal and he is proud to be part of the LP and is grateful of the
opportunity to serve his party.
The event was attended by LP members from the
Senate, the House of Representatives, the Cabinet, as well as those from NGOs,
and the academe. Among the liberal leaders present were Budget Secretary
(Minister) Butch Abad, Senator Franklin Drilon, and House Deputy Speaker Raul
Daza, all former chairs of CALD. Hon. Henedina Abad, MP, former chair of the
CALD Women's Caucus, was also in attendance.
Dr. Acosta said, "We may have thought this
day would not have come, but now that we have come this far, we affirm our
belief that the steadfast adherence to the principles of freedom and democracy
will see us through and make us prevail."