Press Release
March 21, 2006

Drilon gets more support from national and local LP leaders

Senate President and Liberal Party head Franklin Drilon today continued to draw more support from various chapters of the Liberal Party across the country.

In messages sent to the party headquarters, LP Director General Chit Asis said seven governors and three former LP presidents led other party leaders and members in expressing their unwavering recognition of Drilon as the party president.

"We continue to receive messages of support for the Senate President from the local chapters of the LP from all over the country from Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Davao, the Caraga Region, Lanao del Norte, Iloilo City, Guimaras and many more," Asis said.

In their joint statement, former LP presidents Wigberto Tanada, Raul Daza and Florencio Abad urged party members to exercise sobriety and restraint and "to continue to recognize the leadership of Senate President Franklin Drilon as the only party president."

The same sentiment was expressed by Governors Pedro Bacani of Quirino, Vicente Bermejo of Capiz, Ayong Maliksi of Cavite, Borromeo Melchor of Benguet, Joaquin Carlos Nava of Guimaras, Grace Padaca of Isabela and Neil Tupas of Iloilo.

The avalanche of support for Drilon came following the holding of rump convention and election of officers at the Manila Hotel last March 2 wherein Manila Mayor Lito Atienza was installed to replace Drilon as party chief.

Under the LP Constitution and By-Laws, Drilon said, only the party president can convene a meeting of either the National Executive Council or the National Political Council. He added that Atienzas group composed only a small minority of both councils.

During the Cavite LP Chapter Solidarity Rally held at the jampacked convention center in General Trias, Cavite last March 17, Drilon announced the ouster from the party roster of Atienza and four other top LP officials for holding the rump election.

Aside from Atienza, also deemed resigned from the party were Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor, Antique Gov. Sally Perez, Northern Samar Rep. Harlin Cast-Abayon and Batangas Gov. Armand Sanchez.

Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan replaced Atienza as LP national chairman while Governor Bermejo replaced Perez as Vice President for the Visayas, Drilon said. Defensor, Abayon and Sanchez were not officers of the party.

Others that sent messages of support for Drilon were the Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas (Kalipi) chapters of Lanao del Norte, Davao and Caraga; the LP chapters in Ilocos Norte, Mountain Province, Guimaras and Antique.

In his letter, Silvestre Untaran Jr., senior board member of San Jose, Antique, said LP members in his province are solidly behind the Drilon leadership. "The breakaway group led by our governor (Perez) are opportunist Liberals," he added.

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