THE LIBERAL Party (LP), currently the dominant opposition, has named its initial candidates for the 2022 national elections during its National Executive Council meeting on Monday.
The party nominated Senators Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan and Leila M. De Lima for reelection in the 2022 polls.
Mr. Pangilinan, the party president, was senator from 2001 to 2013 and again elected to the upper chamber in 2016. He is an advocate of the agriculture sector and was instrumental in amendments to Republic Act 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010.
He also authored Republic Act 11524 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act.
Ms. De Lima, one of the most vocal critics of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, is currently detained over alleged drug charges.
The Liberal Party also nominated former Senator Paolo “Bam” A. Aquino IV for a senatorial return in 2022.
Mr. Aquino, who has yet to announce his 2022 plan, ran under the Otso Diretso tandem in the 2019 mid-term elections, where he lost after placing 14th.
The party also backed the reelection run of Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” N. Hontiveros-Baraquel from Akbayan Party. They also endorsed human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” I. Diokno’s second run for the Senate.
Mr. Diokno declared his intent to run for the Senate on Sept. 15. He was part of the Otso Diretso tandem in 2019.
The Liberal Party also expressed their support for Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo’s efforts to unite the opposition “while respecting her preference on the elective position she may decide to run” for the 2022 polls.
Ms. Robredo said that she will continue to pursue unification efforts despite the announced presidential runs of Senator Emmanuel ”Manny” D. Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso.
The filing of certificates of candidacy is set Oct. 1-8. — Russell Louis C. Ku