Gov. Grace, Cory partial LP senatorial slate
January 10,2009

I am happy that some of my friends are in this tentative and partial slate, especially my textmate and sister Governor Grace Padaca. When people asked me today why I am not in this slate, I answered them: "I am not a member of the Liberal Party. Only those who are members of the LP were considered for the tentative slate."

And then somebody texted me later in the afternoon: "Will you join the LP?"

My simple answer? "I do not know." I have been informally invited to take my oath as an LP member, but frankly, why will take an oath at this point in the time-space continuum and bind myself so early in the political game?

The thing to do is to wait for all the cards to be tossed on the table. And aside from the LP card, there are four other cards ready to be tossed on that slippery political table.

Have a good weekend!


Two winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, a former education secretary, two members of the House of Representatives, a media personality, and two former legislators are part of the Liberal Party's (LP) tentative senatorial lineup for the 2010 elections.

Former Senate President and LP chairman Franklin Drilon announced Saturday that some of the LP candidates for the senatorial race include Muntinlupa Rep. Rufino Biazon, Quezon Rep. Lorenzo TaƱada III, Former Bukidnon Rep. Neric Acosta, former Education Secretary Florencio 'Butch' Abad, health and fitness guru Cory Quirino, Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca, and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo.

Padaca was among the eight winners of the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay (RM) Award--Asia's version of the Nobel Prize--for Government Service for "empowering Isabela voters to reclaim their democratic right to elect leaders of their own choosing, and to contribute as full partners in their own development."

Robredo, on the other hand, won his RM Award for Government Service in the year 2000 for "demonstrating that effective city management is compatible with yielding power to the people."

Drilon said that he also may run again in the 2010 senatorial race.

"I've opened myself to run again for Senate," Drilon said in the weekly "Kapihan sa Sulo" media forum.

Con-Con over Con-Ass

Drilon made it clear that they are only against a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) before the 2010 elections, saying that a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) is a better way of amending the Constitution.

"We [LP] are against Con-Ass because we believe it's unconstitutional and immoral," he said.

However, he stressed that "the term of the Con-Con should be limited to one year."

As the final arbiter on what mode to use for charter change, Drilon said that the Supreme Court will "determine the fate of the country in the years to come."

CARP extension + reform on support services

Meanwhile, Drilon announced that LP members in Congress will push for an extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and will attempt to introduce amendments to the present law that will benefit farmers.

"What is needed is for real reforms to come about from an extension of CARP, not hollow promises. While we favor the extension of CARP, we also see the need for reforms to make it a genuine vehicle for social justice and economic development," he said.

Under Roxas' leadership, Drilon said that the LP would propose a 5-year CARP extension, focusing on several points. For instance, Drilon said that land must be made productive and profitable for farmers in order for CARP to succeed.

"The prevalent situation since 1988 has been a farmer being awarded his own land, but because of the lack of tools and know-how, the land becomes idle or is sold back to the original landowner," he said.

Drilon said that the LP is pushing for the delivery of support services to farmers such as low-interest and long-term credit facilities, inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, adequate drying and milling capabilities, market access, training and capacity-building, and full support of the Department of Agriculture, local government units, and the Department of Agrarian Reform.

"The heart of CARP is compulsory distribution, we need that. But reform on support services to farmers is also needed. All proceeds of ill-gotten wealth should go to CARP," he said.

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