The conflict erupted after a group led by former Senator Franklin Drilon drew up a list of the party’s senatorial candidates for the 2010 elections.
The other group led by Environment Secretary Jose Atienza resented Drilon’s action which was made without consulting the entire membership.
Liberal Party Director General Eli Quinto commented that Drilon was again up to his old habit of speaking unilaterally for the party.
“Once again, he’s saying things in behalf of the party without consulting its leaders,” Quinto said. “It is almost like back in 2005, when the LP, by unanimous decision, wanted President Arroyo to resign, when the majority of its leaders were in support of her.”
The Liberal Party since its founding in 1946 had a very effective process for deciding such an important issue, Quinto said. “Opinions of party leaders were heard and thus ensuring the whole party was behind those so named,” Quinto pointed out, referring to the LP’s candidate selection process implemented by the Liberals in choosing who to support for electoral contests.
“But then, this might just be Drilon’s way of inserting himself into the discussion,” Quinto said, noting the way in which Drilon mentioned his name at the end of the listing of the others.
Caloocan City Rep. Mitzi Cajayon, president of the Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas (Kalipi) meanwhile reiterated a call to bring together the leaders of the party in a formal gathering in order to bring a resolution to the LP’s three-year-old leadership crisis, which some liken to a civil war of sorts among the country’s Liberals.
“This has gone on for so long, and it imperils the chances of the party to get back on its footing with the elections of next year,” Cajayon said. She noted how Liberal fought Liberal in 2007 in many areas due to the leadership rift, virtually erasing much of its gains from the 2004 elections where many political analysts noted that it was the biggest winner of that electoral contest. –Manila Standard Today