Posted on 2004

Manny B. Villar's Acceptance Speech As President of the Nacionalista Party

My dear Colleagues in the Nacionalista Party, I am most grateful to the leading pillars of the Nacionalista Party for naming me President of the Nacionalista Party. Isang napakalaking karangalan ang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa akin.

Tinatanggap ko ng buong puso ang bigat ng tungkuling ito. Sa tulong ng lahat at sa patnubay ng Poong Maykapal, sisikapin nating maibalik ang sigla at lakas ng Partido Nacionalista alang-alang sa bayan.

It is just as well that we are reviving the Nacionalista Party shortly after the death of our dear and esteemed brother "Doy" Laurel who was the Party's good shepherd during the dark days of the dictatorship. We honor the memory of "Doy" Laurel with our collective action. And we begin the process of fulfilling his dying wish to see the Nacionalista Party revived and rejuvenated to become an instrument of national transformation.

Si "Doy" Laurel and siyang nagbukas ng pinto upang ako ay mapaanib sa Partido Nacionalista. When I was given the privilege of visiting him in California late last year, "Doy" made me a member of the Party. There was no elaborate ritual. There was no press photographer. There was no publicity after. And yet there was something profoundly solemn in that moment when through "Doy's" last act of Party leadership I joined the roster of Nacionalistas.

Hindi mabibigo and huling habilin ni "Doy" Laurel. Bubuhayin nating muli ang Partido Nacionalista. At higit nating palalakasin ito sa bisa ng ating pinag-isang katapatan at pagtaguyod sa diwa at simulain ng Partido.

Tunay na dakila ang kasaysayan ng Partido Nacionalista. Ito ang partido na nanguna sa pakikipaglaban upang maibalik sa atin ang kasarinlan na hindi kinikilala ng Amerika. Ito rin ang partido na nagpamalas ng katapatan sa pagtatanggol ng kapanganakan ng sambayanang Pilipino laban sa pang-aapi ng mga malakas na bansang dayuhan. This was the party that produced such great nationalist presidents as Manny Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Ramon Magsaysay, and Carlos Garcia. From the party's corps of leaders came such outstanding legislators as Senators Jose P. Laurel, Claro Recto, Cipriano Primicias, Eulogio Rodriguez, Francisco Rodrigo, Dominador Aytona, Eva Estrada-Kalaw, Salvador Laurel, Sotero Laurel, and Speaker Jose Laurel, Jr., among others. The greatest mayor Manila ever had - Arsenio Lacson was a Nacionalista too.

Hence, it was not a mere figure of speech to refer to the Nacionalista Party as the Grand Old Party. Truly, no other political party had done so much for our country and people. We have a great tradition to live up to. There is a bright future we can look forward to.

Upang higit na mapalakas ang Partido Nacionalista, kailangang maakit nating sumapi ang kabataan, ang mga magsasaka at mga mangingisda, ang mga manggagawa, ang mga maliliit na negosyante, at bawat sektor ng lipunan na may pagmamahal sa bayan. Ito lamang ang paraan upang maging partido ng sambayanang Pilipino ang Nacionalista Party.

Hindi natin maisasakatuparan ang huling habilin ni "Doy" Laurel sa loob ng mga ilang araw lamang. Ang pagbibigay buhay at ibayong lakas sa ating partido ay isang mahabang lakbayin.

A journey, no matter how long, begins with a single step. Today marks our first step in rebuilding the Nacionalista Party.

May God bless our efforts.

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