Pres. Manuel A. Roxas
(Jan. 19, 1946 – April 15, 1948)
The founder and the 1st President of the Liberal Party established the foundation of the new republic and launched the economic restructuring of a country ravaged by war. He was a native of Capiz where he served as Governor. A lawyer, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Senate President, last President of the Commonwealth and first President of the Republic.
Senate Pres. Jose D. Avelino
(January 19, 1946 – May 8, 1949)
Reputed to be the chief lieutenant of the Nacionalista Party, he became the Senate President under the Roxas administration. He broke away from the leadership of Quirino to form his own wing, which he called the democrat. The result of the 1949 election was bitterly protested by Jose P. Laurel. To avert a civil war, Avelino conceded to Quirino paving the way to the proclamation of the winning candidate. After the election, Quirino and Avelino, as well as their leaders and followers, reunited.
Pres. Elpidio R. Quirino
(April 17, 1948 – December 30, 1950)
He assumed the mantle of leadership of the Liberal Party upon the untimely demise of President Roxas. In 1949, he ran as Presidential candidate of the Liberal Party (Quirino wing) and won. In that election, the three Presidential candidates were Quirino, Senate Pres. Jose Avelino (LP-Avelino wing) and Jose P. Laurel, the Nacionalista candidate. The Party was split into the Avelino and Quirino wings shortly before the elections. President Quirino, an economist, instituted liberal economic reforms. LP fell apart under his watch.
Speaker Eugenio P. Paez
A loyal, dedicated and life-long member and co-founder of the Liberal Party. He was the first Speaker of the House of Representatives under the Bicameral Commonwealth government and the first Speaker of the House when the Philippines became independent of the United States. In the split between the Quirino and Avelino wings in 1949, he sided with President Quirino. As Speaker, he effectively supported both the Roxas and Quirino administration with vital legislation.
Pres. Diosdado P. Macapagal
(1957-1961; December 30, 1961-December 1965)
The “poor boy from Lubao” brought back simplicity to the office of the President. He strengthened the party by recruiting leaders. He initiated agrarian reform program, exchange controls, and changed the date of independence from 4 July to 12 June. A foreign policy expert, he sponsored the MAPHILINDO, a regional grouping of Malay stock. He was a loyal member of the Liberal Party from the start of his political career until his death. It was rumored that he asked, in his deathbed, his daughter, then VP Macapagal-Arroyo, to go back to the Liberal Party.
Senate Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos
(1961-April 21, 1964)
He began his political career as a Liberal congressman. He was Senate President when he assumed the leadership of the Party as part of a compromise with President Macapagal. He gave way to President Macapagal in the 1961 Presidential election and in return, he would be elected Party President and be the standard bearer of the Party in the 1965 election. Upon sensing that President Macapagal would run for re-election, he left the Liberal Party and joined the Nacionalistas. He ran for President and won. He declared Martial Law in 1972 and form Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL). He was ousted from power in 1986.
Speaker Cornelio T. Villareal
(May 1964 – April 19, 1982)
He was the Speaker of the House of Representatives during the Macapagal administration, being the clever politician that he was, he retained the speakership even until the administration of Marcos. He was one of the delegates to the 1935 Constitutional Convention. He survived the Marcos years and returned to Congress to serve for one term after the EDSA revolution.
Sen. Gerardo M. Roxas
(May 10, 1969 – April 19, 1982)
The son of the founder and first President of the Liberal Party. He was the running mate of President Macapagal in the 1965 election. He lost by a slim margin and is believed to be cheated in the elections. The Liberal Party’s rebirth came under the leadership of Sen. Roxas when the Party fell into hard years during the Marcos administration. The Party was in opposition to Martial rule and the conjugal dictatorship when he assumed its leadership. He sought to increase the party’s legitimacy as the ideological alternative to the Nacionalistas by consulting representatives of farmers, labor, youth and other sectors.
Senate Pres. Jovito R. Salonga
(April 20, 1982 – June 1, 1993)
Outstanding national leader, legal luminary (bar topnotcher), civil libertarian, veteran legislator and educator. He was one of the most seriously injured in the infamous Plaza Miranda bombing. In politics, he holds the distinction of topping three successive senatorial elections. He assumed the leadership of the Party after the death of Senator Roxas. He was at the helm of the Party when the country is facing the demise of the martial rule, the EDSA revolution and the Philippine transition to democracy. It was under his leadership in a Liberal Senate that the pull-out of the US Military Bases, the symbol of imperialism, took place. He drafted the LP Vision and Program of Government that is not only liberal and nationalist but also progressive and pro-people. It was also during his term when the Party’s youth wing, Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas (KALIPI), was established.
Senate Minority Floor Leader Wigberto E. Tañada
(June 2, 1993 – Oct. 17, 1994)
A true heir to the legacy of his father, Sen. Lorenzo Tañada, Ka Bobby is a nationalist, peace advocate, a staunch human rights defender, crusader against graft and corruption and a dedicated legislator. His presidency opened the party to different sector and different ideological orientation. He envisioned the party to be a haven of the young believing that their idealism and dynamism will re-invigorate the party. He was a customs commissioner, senator of the republic and representative of the 4th district of Quezon.
Speaker Pro-Tempore Raul A. Daza
(Oct. 18, 1994 – Sept. 19, 1999)
A native of Northern Samar, Rep. Daza assumed the presidency at a time when the party is undergoing reorganization and consolidation of ranks to continually serve and represent the people as an organization committed to change, progress and good government. Under his watch, the young turks of the Party gained voice in decision making in the party by appointing leaders of KALIPI in LP Execom. It was also during his term that the LP helped the formation of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, a federation of liberal and democratic parties in the Asian region.
Sec. Florencio B. Abad
(Sept. 20, 1999 – Aug. 9, 2004)
One of the most able and most promising solons in our country, Secretary Butch hails from a family of Liberals. Although coming from a political family, he has identified himself with the new breed of young, non-traditional politicians in the country. A freedom fighter that fought the dictatorship. He was appointed Secretary of Agrarian Reform and served as representative of the lone district of Batanes. He was the founding Chairman of the Party’s youth wing, KALIPI. He steered the Party safely to the side of the truth during the impeachment of President Estrada and the second revolution in EDSA. From 2004-2005 he served as Secretary of Education.
Senate Pres. Franklin M. Drilon
(Aug. 9, 2004 – 2008)
With humble beginnings from Molo, Iloilo, Senate Pres. Franklin Drilon has served as one of the most respected statesmen of the country. His exemplary career in government earned him the distinction of having been appointed to several Cabinet posts under two Administrations, as Secretary of Labor, Justice and Executive Secretary. His previous government positions also included assuming positions of leadership in 19 other government agencies and institutions. He was also Chairman and Member of various Senate Committees and Senate Majority Leader (1988 – 2000). With his well-honed skills from the Judiciary, the Executive Department and the private sector, he continues to contribute his dynamism as he seeks re-election in 2010.
Senator Mar Roxas
(2008 to present)
The grandson of Pres. Manuel A. Roxas, Sen. Mar Roxas was elected Senator in 2004 with almost 20 million votes– the most votes obtained by a candidate in any Philippine election. He is best-known for pushing forward the people’s agenda, for always putting the people first on quality education, livelihood opportunities, healthcare, and transparency and accountability in government. Because of his Universally Accessible, Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008, the prices of medicines began to go down. He put back the money in our minimum wage earners’ pockets, eliminating taxes for them. He is champion for reform in education and a staunch advocate of good governance, fighting corruption at he forefront. In 2009, he made the supreme sacrifice of putting country above self when he set aside his presidential bid and joined the people’s call for Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino to run for the Presidency. He later on joined Senator Aquino as his vice-presidential running mate to become the top contender in the 2010 national elections– a historic tandem that has brought hope and renewed call for genuine change among millions of Filipinos both in the country and abroad.