Reform PH Party Chairman Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.
SAN JUAN CITY – The Reform PH Party was launched and the National Council Affirmation was held on Monday (June 10) at the historic Club Filipino here.

Former Senator and now Reform PH Party Chairman Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, Agriculture Assistant Secretary James Layug, former Congressman Willy Villarama, and former Congressman Mike Defensor, among others, were present during the party launching and council affirmation.

Layug, Reform PH Party President, noted that the Philippines is composed of 7,100 islands and now has a population of 110 million and that the country has rich natural resources, but the nation seems to be in dire poverty.

Layug was one of those who “stood their ground” during the Oakwood Mutiny.

Layug and Honasan, from the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) in 1986, are now launching the “Reform PH Party”, which Layug said, “is a politics of reforms and of hope.”

He said “the Reform PH Party is dreaming of politics, of idealism and reform.”
Honasan said that the first question is that “why are we here?”

The former colonel and senator has served government as elected official for 17 years, 7 years as a rebel, elected by the people as the first independent senator in the history of the Philippines not just once but four times.

However, Honasan was not elected to the highest post in the land.

“We thought that the elections would solve the basic problems of the country such as poverty,” he said.

“What is the value of life if you are not happy,” he added.

Honasan said “the Reform Party is a new and a young party and it was shown by past manifestations, not through an armed struggle, but the love that emanates from the family and from every one of us.”

“We are relevant to the present and we hope to be relevant in the future,” he said.

Honasan stressed that it is not a criticism to other political parties, but to encourage them to compete in a good political system.

“Complete and accurate data is the new rule,” he said.

Honasan shared that this party has party discipline such that they promised to each other that they will not leave anyone behind.

“Our family, our home is our Party (Reform PH Party). Let’s compete in a good political system,” Honasan urged other political parties.

“We are not pro or anti. We are pro-Philippines. One race. One country,” Honasan said.

The former senator urged everyone “not to seek for conflict, but to point out what are we for and to address the problems on food, clothing and shelter.”

Honasan appealed to the Filipino people as interim Chairman of the Party “to dream hard, pray hard and work hard for the children and their future.”

On the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue, Honasan said that everybody is saying that there is a territorial dispute in the WPS, he urged them that they should file the appropriate protest first, talk and take into consideration what really matters for the nation such as the fisheries and aquatic resources.

“Our main asset is our geography,” Honasan said, which he learned when he was the Secretary of the Department of Information Communication Technology (DICT).

“Reform PH Party will not only compete in politics but will compete for the fast delivery of service to the Filipino nation,” Honasan said.

The former senator stressed that the party originated from a long time ago “standing for family, life, career and honor.”

“We are from the right, centrist and the ideology that we understand. We gather platform, ideology, and the result was ‘Reform Philippines’,” Honasan said.

He noted that there is no such a reform that has been immediately started.

Honasan, however, said “Every administration is not free from criticism,” adding that, “Every President has a vision and so we cannot super impose ourselves on them.”

“Kahit sino Presidente basta Maganda ginagawa, suportahan natin (Whoever is the President for as long as he is doing good, let’s support him). And so we support the (proposed) changes in the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution,” Honasan said.

On the possible return to the Senate, Honasan said that he would first seek the approval of the members of the party and if they approve of it, he may run for Senator again.

“Democracy is the worst form of political system, except for those who have tried,” Honasan quoted the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as saying. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

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