By Hannah Torregoza
There was no clamor among the Liberal Party (LP) members for Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan to step down from his position as party president, Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday.
“No such thing. No one is clamoring. In fact, if there’s a clamor, as far as I’m concerned, it is for him to stay,” Drilon said in an ambush interview.
Thus, Drilon said, he hopes that his colleague would reconsider his decision to resign as LP President given the opposition’s need to strengthen their resolve to bolster the country’s democracy despite the Otso Diretso’s defeat in the recently concluded May 2019 midterm elections.
“I have talked to Sen. Kiko today and I told him, ‘don’t take it so hard. We needed somebody in the opposition to run the campaign and I thank you for sacrificing his time, his resources and his family for the sake of the opposition, because we needed the opposition in order to strengthen our democracy’,” Drilon told reporters in an ambush interview.
Drilon said Pangilinan has agreed to discuss the matter further and said that the LP coalition will have a meeting soon.
“He has agreed to discuss it further. Anyway, it’s effective (until) June 30 and we have time to review the situation. There will be a meeting at the end of the month,”
Drilon further defended Pangilinan saying he believes the latter exerted his best efforts even with limited resources to give their candidates a chance to win.
“Unfortunately, we were overwhelmed by the resources coming for the majority,” Drilon said.
“(It’s) not his fault. In fact, I go on record defending him for giving his best,” the LP stressed.
Drilon said it is understandable that Pangilinan feels bad over the outcome of the elections, “but he gave it his best.”
“Masama ang loob niya dahilan sa mukhang sa kabila ng lahat ng ginawa niya, hindi pa nagtagumpay. I can understand where he is coming from. It’s not his fault,” he said.
Earlier, Pangilinan submitted his resignation as LP president to Vice President Leni Robredo. Another LP stalwart, Rep. Kit Belmonte, LP secretary general had also submitted his resignation. Robredo, however, reportedly rejected both resignations.
Read more: Pangilinan resigns as LP president