MANILA, Philippines – With no money to fund its machinery, the once-ruling Liberal Party (LP) will look to volunteers for a bunk-up to its campaign for the 2019 elections.
The party's chairperson, Vice President Leni Robredo, disclosed the party's plan on Sunday, October 28, when she was asked by local reporters in Legazpi, Albay, whether the party would consider taking in guest candidates aside from its official Senate slate of 8.
Robredo said she would prefer to keep them at 8 to "send a message" that the polls are not about popularity but "character and beliefs" – even if it would be "against all odds." (READ: Robredo to youth: Focus on track record, not candidates' promises)
"Ngayon, mas ine-encourage ng partido iyong paghanap ng volunteers, kasi talagang walang pera iyong partido. Walang pera iyong partido to support its candidates. Iyong mga kandidato mismo, walang pera, except for a few," Robredo shared.
(Now, the party is encouraging to look for volunteers, because the party really has no money. The party has no money to support its candidates. The candidates themselves have no money, except for a few.)
Once the ruling party under the term of President Benigno Aquino III, the LP has now found itself in the shadows of firebrand President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP-Laban and his daughter's Hugpong ng Pagbabago, where many of its members jumped ship after the defeat of their standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II in 2016.
Robredo was delighted to announce that in the first 24 hours of their search for volunteers, "more than a thousand" signed up. She said she hopes more would sign up once they ask for help down at the local level.
"Parang, iyong gusto nating subukan ngayon, parang people’s campaign, na iyong tao, hindi iyong pulitiko, ang magdadala ng kapanalunan ng kandidato," said Robredo. (That's what we want to try now, like a people's campaign – where it's the people, not the politician, who will bring the candidate to victory.) – Rappler.com