Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino
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The Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (lit. 'Fight of Democratic Filipinos') is a political party in the Philippines that was founded in 1988 through the merger of the Lakas ng Bansa party of then-Speaker Ramon Mitra and the PDP-Laban faction of Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, Jr.
The party is divided into two factions. The one led by Edgardo Angara contested in the 2004 elections as a member party of the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (Coalition of United Filipinos). His son, senator Sonny Angara, is the current chairman of the party.
In the mid-1980s, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP), Lakas ng Bayan, and the Lakas ng Bansa parties became members of the United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO) coalition. It supported the candidacy of Corazon C. Aquino and Salvador Laurel as president and vice president, respectively in the 1986 snap election. In 1986, the PDP merged with the Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN) party of the late Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. to form PDP-Laban.
UNIDO, which was under the name “Lakas ng Bayan,” was the dominant party in both houses of Congress in the 1987 legislative elections. Representative Ramon Mitra Jr. of Palawan was elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives. UNIDO was dissolved soon after. On 16 September 1988, PDP-Laban was split into two factions: the Pimentel Wing of Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. and the Cojuangco Wing of Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr. The Cojuangco Wing and the Lakas ng Bansa party of Speaker Mitra merged in 1988 to form the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) party. The Pimentel Wing remained as the PDP-Laban party.
During the LDP National Convention in 1991, Mitra was nominated as its nominee for President of the Philippines. Its runner-up former Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Fidel V. Ramos bolted the party and formed Partido Lakas ng Tao. He won the presidency in the 1992 presidential election.
LDP formed a coalition with Lakas-NUCD-UMDP of Ramos, which was dubbed as the Lakas-Laban Coalition, for the 1995 midterm legislative elections and won majority of seats in both houses of Congress.
In 1997, the party merged with two other parties to form the Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino party and supported the candidacy of then-Vice President Joseph Estrada.
In 2004, the party was divided into two factions: party president Edgardo Angara who supported the candidacy of Fernando Poe, Jr., and party secretary general Agapito Aquino, who supported Panfilo Lacson for president.
According to the rules of candidacy, every presidential candidate must have a political party to back him or her. To support Poe’s and Lacson’s candidacy, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) decided to informally split the party into the Aquino and Angara wings. Lacson ran under the LDP-Aquino wing while Poe run under the LDP-Angara wing (which later became the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP)).
Current party officials
- National President: Bellaflor Angara-Castillo
- Chairman: Sonny Angara
- Secretary-General: Representative: Arthur Angara
- Ramon V. Mitra, Jr. – former House Speaker and Party’s standard-bearer during the 1992 elections.
- Fidel V. Ramos – lost the party’s nomination to Ramon Mitra and formed his own party, Lakas ng Tao, now named Lakas-Kampi-CMD. He is the 12th president of the Philippines.
- Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr. – one of the original founders of the party but left in 1997 together with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to form Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi). He is the current secretary-general of PDP-Laban.
- Neptali Gonzales – former Senate President.
- Edgardo Angara – former Senate President and a four-term senator. He was the longest-serving Senator in the post-EDSA Congress.
- Jamby Madrigal – former Senator, LDP member from 2001 to 2007 before she left for PDP-Laban.
- Blas Ople – former Senator and Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
- Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – the 14th President of the Philippines. She left the party in 1997 to form her own political party, Kampi.
- Vicente Sotto III – senator and current Senate President. He was an LDP member from 1992 to 1997 and left together with Arroyo to form Kampi. He returned to the party during the administration of former President Joseph Estrada, but left again in 2007 to join the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
- Teresa Aquino-Oreta – former senator and member of LDP from 1988 to 2007. She left to join NPC.
- Rodolfo Biazon – congressman and former senator. He joined the Liberal Party of the Philippines in 2004.
- Freddie Webb- congressman and a senator for one term.
- Teofisto Guingona, Jr. – former vice-president. He left LDP when he was appointed as Department of Justice Secretary during the Ramos Administration.
- Panfilo Lacson – senator and presidential candidate for 2022 elections.
- Sonny Angara – served as congressman of Aurora Province’s Lone District, currently serves as senator
- Bellaflor Angara-Castillo – governor of Aurora Province
- Maria Clara Lobregat – three-term congresswoman and mayor of Zamboanga City
- Celso Lobregat – two-term congressman and mayor of Zamboanga City
- Jose Calingasan – congressman and former Philippine ambassador.
- Arthur Angara –former mayor of Baler.
- Rommel Angara – former vice governor of Aurora and currently serves as congressman of Aurora Province’s Lone District
- Dayley, Robert (2016). Southeast Asia In The New International Era. ISBN 9780813350110. (Accessed on 25 September 2021).
- “Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino - Fight of Democratic Filipinos in Philippine Politics”. Cebu Philippines. (Accessed on 25 September 2021).