Robredo rejects Pangilinan resignation as LP president

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2019 12:50 PM | Updated as of May 21 2019 03:10 PM

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) -- Vice President Leni Robredo has not accepted the resignation of Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan as president of the Liberal Party, her spokesperson said Tuesday.

Pangilinan tendered his resignation to Robredo, chair of LP, following the apparent loss of all 8 opposition senatorial candidates.

Quezon City 6th District Rep. Kit Belmonte also resigned as LP secretary general, said Pangilinan.

"The VP has not accepted Senator Kiko’s and Cong. Kit’s resignations," Robredo's spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez said in a statement.

"Much work remains to be done, and they will do it, together," he added.

ACCOUNTABILITY

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Pangilinan, who served as campaign manager for Otso Diretso, earlier said he "should be held accountable for this inability to win the elections."

"We were unable to accomplish the task so the one charge must be held to account. Tendering my resignation is the signal that I assume full responsibility for the results of the campaign," he told ANC.

The LP "was still assessing" its slate's defeat, he said.

"We want to get to the bottom of the glitches, we want to get to the bottom of the election returns, malfunctioning VCMs (vote counting machines), corrupted SD cards," he said.

Pangilinan also clarified that he will not quit LP and he "has no intentions of joining any other party." He said he will also stay with the Senate minority bloc together with Senators Risa Hontiveros, Franklin Drilon, and Leila de Lima.

"I have no intention of becoming inactive. We will continue in building the party, building the coalition and preparing for the coming days," he said.

"There is the issue of charter change, there is this continuing issue of extra-judicial killings, there is the issue of China and our sovereignty. In the next 3 years, these will be even more critical," he added.

NO CLAMOR VS KIKO

"There was no clamor for Sen Kiko’s resignation," Liberal Party vice president for external affairs Erin Tañada told ABS-CBN News.

Tañada was also part of the LP-backed Otso Diretso slate that was shut out from the senatorial race’s “Magic 12.”

"His resignation is not a message that he is abandoning the Liberal Party. His resignation is a sign of humility, taking responsibility for what has happened," Tañada said.

"I admire the courage he showed by taking the challenge in leading and managing the Otso Diretso slate despite the obvious lack of resources and the attacks by the President on the opposition ticket," he said.

The Liberal Party has scheduled a meeting next week to discuss how the party would move forward, party stalwart and Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice told ABS-CBN News in a separate interview.

"Hindi pa nga kami naga-assess, we're still moving on from the loss. Pinagpapahinga pa kami," Erice said.

"Parang decimated na kami masyado, wala na ata kami ibaba pa so will just continue with what we have," he said.