The Liberal Party has FAILED in its role as part of ‘the opposition’

There is something to be said about how the Liberal Party (LP), the political force that has remained ubiquitous ever since the 1986 People Power Movement, has handled its role as part of political opposition to the Rodrigo Duterte administration.

The volume of statements coming from the LP-led opposition has not died down, despite the recent movements that have affected them. Senator Leila de Lima, arguably one of the biggest, most outspoken voices, was recently arrested. Her allies claim she was brought into custody, simply because she dared to be a critic; defenders of the move stand by it, because they want to see her links to the drug trade investigated. The other maneuver against the LP involved the removal of several associated senators from key posts and committee chairmanships.

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The rallying cry that the LP has taken, in light of these developments, is that the Duterte administration is moving to silence dissent, and to scare its critics and opponents into submission. They contend that the presence of dissent and opposition is essential for a democracy to work.

The LP seems to conveniently forget, however, that credibility as the opposition isn’t an entitlement; it is earned.

People who were critical of past administrations – Noynoy Aquino’s, in particular – were well aware of this. Critics back then had to earn their stripes and gain credibility the hard way – through focus on the issues and providing a solid counterpoint/alternative to the heavily co-opted mainstream media. Furthermore, they had to do this while being stared down, and discredited, by a formidable communications monolith – the Malacanang communications group (troll army and all), PLUS mainstream media. It was not hard to criticize the Aquino government, however, because it had shortcomings even in basic, common, human decency.

Thus it comes to light, that the biggest factor in the LP’s “crisis of credibility”, as part of the “opposition”, is its inconsistency; certain critics of the LP would rather use the word hypocrisy. Whichever word one would like to use, it simply highlights that the LP has been starkly terrible at practicing what it preaches. More prominently, there is very little that it can accuse the Duterte administration of, which its members themselves have not done.

Single out opposition figures? Reminder: Noynoy and De Lima singled out Arroyo, et al.
Silence dissent? Tell VP Leni Robredo to stop blocking differing opinions on her social media pages.
Employ propaganda to deodorize itself? What the hell were Ricky, Edwin, Abi, and Sonny in their positions for?!
People Power was for all? Somebody forgot to send the memo to Jim Paredes!

True to form, rather than keep its opposition issues-based, give itself a reality check, propose a concrete vision of a future for the Philippines, and come to terms with its lack of results in the past decades, the LP has retreated to its comfort zone of propagating a victim mentality/persecution complex. A growing number of people have grown tired of their act, and are no longer entertained/moved by their machinations.

Realistically speaking, we recognize that the LP is not the only component of the opposition. There are many independent voices that remain in the Popcorn Camp, as benign0 has described. The lament of quite a few of these commentators is that, criticizing the Duterte administration doesn’t necessarily make one an LP supporter, or a Yellowtard, and vice versa. Even if one supports the Liberal Party, one doesn’t necessarily venerate the Yellow movement and the Aquino family associated with it.

GRPost takes the position described above; we have remained, to the best of our abilities, consistently focused on the issues and ideas which underpin Filipino culture and society, regardless of who the sitting president is, and where he/she is from.

The problem, however, that plagues the opposition to this administration remains seemingly unchanged from previous ones. The many voices in the wilderness just cannot get along with each other, and put a greater cause above themselves. As the loudest voice in the wilderness, and the one with a lot of resources, the LP has had its chances to galvanize the critics, and give shape and direction to the voice of the opposition. If anyone were to fill the voids, the LP would. But the arrogance and exclusivity expressed by some of its members, as well as other non-aligned voices, have rendered the dissent weightless, and reduced it to noise that can be easily ignored.

Quite simply, the presence of the LP and Yellowtards among Duterte’s critics undermines the credibility of the rest. Perhaps if other opposition figures disown these two parties to an even greater extent, critics would gain a whole lot more weight in their pronouncements.

If the arrest and ouster of a few of its prominent figures so easily scares the LP, then perhaps it’s not the administration strong-arming them that should be a concern. Perhaps they need to look at the reality that their constitutions are rather weak; the LP is nothing but a bunch of yellow-livered pussies.

That the LP has not stepped up appropriately in its role as part of “the opposition” is a BIG wasted opportunity. The Duterte administration is not without its faults; Duterte’s campaign against drugs, for example, is handicapped by the very instrument that it needs in order to be carried out: a compromised police force. Neither has the administration really made significant strides yet, in addressing its fundamental weaknesses in communications, and the risk it faces in being overthrown.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the LP can be dealt a blow hard enough, so that it will be permanently knocked out (of relevance), or whether it will continue to be a fly in the ointment of the sitting administration.

Buy popcorn, lots of it. This drama series is going to drag on for quite some time…

5 Replies to “The Liberal Party has FAILED in its role as part of ‘the opposition’”

  1. The thing with LP members is that they seem to oppose just for the sake of opposing. Simply put, their general performance barely shows their sense of responsibility or even regard especially in key areas of governance. So, they can’t really claim to “intend better” for the country. It doesn’t take much brains for people to realize that they’ve suffered under the rule of those who supposedly lead them to freedom.

  2. The trouble with the Liberal Party is: it has no political ideology. It has been in power for 30 years, and cannot show any good accomplishments to the people. The same Traditional Politicians, who had been involved in large scale corruption like the ; DAP, PDAF, missing Typhoon Yolanda Fund, Pork Barrel Bribery , etc…

    The same Traditional Politician who are involved of the looting of the Gold reserves of the Philippines. Transferring their Gold Loots in Thailand.

    The same Traditional Politicians, who were involved in election cheating thru: HOCUS PCOS and SMARTMAGIC…

    How can we trust these people. They have shown already, what they can do; and what they cannot do. They try to change their “stripes or spots” ?… ” a tiger will never change its stripes”, they usually say…

    We have seen thru the Aquino/LP years…they did not perform well.

    Would you try to convince me; they will do good this time ? No way, Jose…I better sit down, and eat my “Pop Corn” !

  3. When you watch Kiko Pangilinan’s take on the issue of the recent reorganization in the senate, he makes it sound like it was purely a move of vendetta against them. He says the Duterte administration does not tolerate dissent, when in fact, they’re given the liberty to talk all the literal Sh**t they want against the administration. And when the Duterte camp responds in action, they retreat and turn into “victims”. Just like their bimbotic of a leader , the “VP”. Then there’s Bam Aquino’s self conradicting logic ( that when they contend critical issues against the majority, to the point of mangling issues to discredit govt, it doesn’t mean they can’t belong to the majority) only reinforces observations that their party is more concerned with politicizing issues rather than getting real work done. To the LP, the fine line between opposing and provoking can be a tool.

  4. the most stupid thing about this liberal party is that they think too big of themselves, assuming that they are beholden and that this land is theirs! no, they definitely do not walk their talk, which is actually all there is to it; plain senseless stupid talk. and they have the audacity to try and be cute by saying, ‘just because we criticize, doesn’t mean we want to topple the government!’ HAHAHA, stupid idiots they are. being the disentes and intellectual they so claim to be, they should know that it is the manner in which they do things that makes them so transparent! UGH!!!

  5. The enduring problem for the Liberal Party (LP), as for everyone else, is not whether history will judge them wise or foolish regarding their role; it is, rather, the way that the past decades has splintered them away from other Failipinos. This fracture comes with a steep price: in today’s toxic atmosphere, the LP are no less cynical, shortsighted, and parochial than anyone else, and they understand their fellow Failipinos just as badly as they themselves are understood. When LP look at Failipino voters, they see either a mob of pious know-nothings or the insensible victims of militarism and class warfare. Yet such people defy fixed categories, which means that they have to be figured out the hard way – on their own terms.

    The problem with the politicians in all parties in the Failippines is that neither of them have a real agenda except to feather their own nests. They both have their hands deep in corporate pockets. All the rest is sleight of hand and distraction to keep the public occupied with trivia, divided against each other, and thinking their vote matters.

    It should never be forgotten that, it is in the interest of each one of them that the other should be weakened by internal struggle. Hence it is always possible to pose the question of whether the parties exist by virtue of their own strength, as their own necessity, or whether rather they only exist to serve the interests of others.

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