Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan has taken over as acting president of the Liberal Party until party elections are held.
Pangilinan will succeed former Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya as acting president and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, who was party president on leave since 2014.
Prior to his new designation, Pangilinan was LP's immediate past vice president. The powers of the party president include calling meetings of the various LP bodies; holding consultations with the party membership, the civil society, academe, and international stakeholders; creating search committees to scout for new members; acting on applications for membership; and recommending amendments to the Party Constitution for approval of the National Directorate, among others.
The next party election will be conducted on or before the 31st of March 2017, according to the designation letter signed by Abaya.
In a press statement, Pangilinan said the LP will work on the current situation to address poverty, joblessness, and the high prices of basic necessities.
He added that the party will not be a roadblock to the Duterte administration's anti-poverty, pro-labor and massive infrastructure plans.
"We have our individual and collective roles in nation-building. Hindi tayo magiging hadlang sa mabubuting plano at gawain ng Duterte administration para sa bayan, tulad ng kanyang mga anti-poverty programs, pro-labor and massive infrastructure plans, support for farmers and fisher folks, particularly the coco levy bill for coconut farmers, peace-building initiatives, and the focus to develop Mindanao," said Pangilinan.
"Huhugot tayo ng mga aral at inspirasyon mula sa ating ninuno sa Liberal Party na si yumaong Senate President Jovito Salonga at ang aktibo pa ring si dating Senator Wigberto Tanada, at itutuloy ang pagpuna sa mga nakikita nating hindi tama tulad ng papalaki pang bilang ng patayan bunga ng anti-drug war at ng planong paglibing ng dating diktador sa Libingan ng mga Bayani," he said.
"Magtanim tayo, hindi ng galit o sama ng loob, kundi ng pag-asa at mga polisiya at programang tama para sa bayan. Tapos na ang eleksyon. Palitan na natin ang 'tards' ng 'pards' at 'mards'. Sama-sama tayong kumilos tungo sa isang bansang may malasakit sa kapwa, katarungan, at tunay na kalayaan -- kalayaan mula sa kahirapan, katiwalian, at takot."