MANILA – While he admitted that the Liberal Party (LP) miscalculated several things regarding the previous elections, their errors were in no way as bad as they appear on social media.
"There were missteps, [but] it is nothing in the level of how poisonous it has been in social media," said acting LP president Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on ANC's Beyond Politics.
"Masyado namang over doon. Lahat na, sinisi sa amin, maski na ang pagpatay kina [Jose] Rizal at Lapu-Lapu," he quipped.
(People tend to exaggerate on social media. Everything is blamed on us, even the deaths of Jose Rizal and Lapu-Lapu.)
On social media, bashers of the LP call its supporters "yellowtards".
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos also recently hit at her father's "yellowish" critics, who opposed the burial of late president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Despite criticisms against them, according to Pangilinan, the LP has to learn from its errors "well and quickly" in order to make better decisions in the future.
"If we calculated it right, we would have won," he said, and cited President Rodrigo Duterte's skill in setting the agenda to drugs and crime during his campaign, the same way that the LP was able to set as urgent the issue of corruption in the 2010.
However, Pangilinan said that it is important to go on engaging the voters, and to go back to the needs of Filipinos. He is optimistic, he said, that the LP will have a key role in helping the country’s continued development, "consistent with its values, promoting human rights, [and] liberal democracy."
He added, they are working with the current administration in achieving worthy goals, despite disagreeing with certain issues such as the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and the rampant bloodshed in the government’s war on drugs.
"This is the fifth month of this administration. Every administration deserves a chance to serve and lead. Bawat bagong administrasyon ay deserving of a honeymoon period, and some support," he said.
"Coming from there, tinitingnan natin, alin ang mga programang dapat suportahan, tinutulak? In areas where we think there are inspired decisions or policies, why not? I actually support the political will of Duterte and bringing warring factions to talk."
Ultimately, he said, Filipinos want a country they can be proud of, so the LP will continue its work in government.
The function of leadership is to forge a critical mass of citizens from all walks of life, coming together, he said.
"Until may mga ganung kababayan na naghahangad ng reporma at pagbabago (While there are people who want reforms and change)...palagay ko the LP will have a niche and a role to play."