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Conservative Party of Philippines (21st Century Crisis)

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Conservative Party of the Philippines
Spanish name Partido Conservador de Filipinas
Filipino name Konserbatibo Party ng Pilipinas
Leader Hernán Sánchez y Rodrigo
Chairperson Arturo Martinez
President Samuel Rodriguez Muñoz
Secretary-General Jaime Castillo-Amescua
Spokesperson Juan de Barrantes
Founder Villa Ortiz
Slogan "The pride of the Catholic militancy"
Founded 1969
Merger of The Restoration Movement
The New Principalia
Youth wing The Young Filipinos
Ideology social conservatism
economic conservatism
anti-Islamism
Hispanophilia
Political position far-right
Religion Roman Catholicism
International affiliation Mexican Royalist Party
Latin League
Spanish Union
Seats in the Senate 0/24
Seats in the House of Representatives 0/292


The Conservative Party of the Philippines (Spanish: Partido Conservador de Filipinas, Filipino: Konserbatibong Partido ng Pilipinas) historically known as the Royalists or Principalía is a political party in the Philippines. It is positioned on the far-right of the Philippine political spectrum. The party is led by Hernán Sánchez y Rodrigo and its main center is located in the city of Cristo el Salvador also with an active presence in Zamboanga City, Pampanga and General Santos City.

Its current goals are to preserve, protect and promote Spanish influence in the Philippines. Historically, its original goal and intent was to restore the Spanish monarchy in the Philippines in the form of a Westminster-based constitutional monarchy where the Monarch would be the Head of State and the Prime Minister would be the Head of Government. It abandoned this idea due to constitutional issues.

The Conservative Party is considered the successor of the Captaincy General of the Philippines, and other factions that were loyal to Spain during the Philippine independence movement. They also have high affiliations and ties with royalist parties in Mexico, such as the Mexican Royalists. 

Before 1969, the party existed as multiple factions of loyalists to the Spanish Crown or supporters of Spanish cultural restoration. In the 1960s, it existed as the Restoration Movement and The New Principalía, two political oppositions to Ferdinand Marcos which sought to restore the Spanish hierarchy in the Philippines whilst maintaining a sovereign state. Most of its members are mestizos with Spanish descent, with some Visayan and Tagalog members.

They were eventually united in 1969 to officially form the party, with Villa Ortiz as its head. They successfully helped topple Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. However, Corazon Aquino was installed as president. Afterward, the party weakened but in 2005, the party began to grow and poses a serious growing challenge to Gilbert Teodoro's presidency. However, the likelihood of a party member ever becoming president was near-impossible, since the Royalists' goals have been ruled unconstitutional, and contradicts Philippine constitutional law. The Philippines does not have a prime minister and the party's goal is to establish a prime minister in place of the president. Royalties are also prohibited since the Philippines is a republic. It is for this reason that the Conservative Party slowly abandoned its desire to establish a constitutional monarchy, and instead, promote and protect Spanish culture and tradition in the republic within constitutional law.

The Conservative Party of the Philippines was often considered the Philippines' own counterpart to British conservatives and Westminster politics. Like British conservatives, the Philippine Conservatives favored orderly and established ways of doing things and maintaining high ties with a monarch, the Spanish monarchy in this case, and with the Roman Catholic Church. They also wished to install a Prime Minister in place of a President, favoring a parliamentary and constitutional monarchy over a federal republic.

However, in the recent days, the Conservative Party has shifted its focus away from turning the Philippines into a monarchy, to simply restoring, protecting and promoting Spanish and Catholic influence, culture and language throughout the whole archipelago.

Philippine Conservatives support the officiating of Spanish as the national language in the Philippines alongside Tagalog or Filipino. They also oppose same-sex marriage, and want to establish a strong presence of the Catholicism in all islands and provinces in the Philippines, funding the building of churches and crusader movements in predominantly-Muslim areas such as southern Mindanao and the Hindu and Buddhist-population region of northern Mindanao. They also oppose Protestant movements in the Philippines, seeing all non-Catholic movements as dangerous and rebellious theologies. 

Political opponents of the party include the Communist Party of the Philippines, Lakas-CMD, Islamic Party of the Philippines and the Nationalist Party of Mindanao, despite the Lakas-CMD and the Nationalist Party of Mindanao being right-wing parties. Political allies include the Cavite United Party, and the Partido de Zamboanga. 

History

The origins of the party lie during the Filipino struggle for independence against Spain, particularly members of the elite class known as the Principalía. Though no official name, they were often members of the Captaincy-General of the Philippines, and counteracted the Filipino revolution. They also fought alongside Spain against the American occupation of the Philippines.

During the First Philippine Republic-era, the remaining loyalists to the Spanish Crown retreated to the city of Cristo el Salvador in southern Luzon, to find a party that would rival the Katipunan. In 1899 thus, the Restoration Movement (Spanish: Movimiento de Restauración, Filipino: Pagpapanumbalik Alitan) was found, composed of former soldiers for the Spanish Crown in the Philippines, and their families. In 1901 similarly in the city of Cavite, the The New Principalía (Spanish: El Principalía Nuevo, Filipino: Bagong Prinsipaliya) was found also composed of Mestizos.

For decades, these two factions resisted foreign attempts to influence Philippine culture, but paradoxically worked to preserve Spanish culture and tradition in the Philippines. They resisted English-language education movements, and the presence of Protestant missionaries, wanting to strengthen Catholicism's hold in the Philippines. 

Principalía were successful in keeping Spanish an official language, despite a huge decline in the number of speakers as English began to replace Spanish as the major Indo-European language. Throughout independance from the Spanish Empire in 1900, and up to the 1960s, Spanish was an official language, alongside Filipino and English.

The loyalist-factions for the most part, remained quiet and in the shadows until the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos which began in 1965. Marcos abolished the official usage of Spanish. The Restorationists and New Principalía leader Sancho Cruz de Quirós had a meeting in the city of Cristo el Salvador, where they announced the formation of a united party which would, become the Conservative Party of the Philippines in 1969.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Conservative Party had no hopes of ever assuming power. The Philippine government had repeatedly labeled the party's goals as unconstitutional, and therefore, not legally possible. Also, the overwhelming majority of the party's supporters by that point, had abandoned the idea of a monarchy in the Philippines and simply had supported the party for its stance on restoring Spanish culture and language. In 2001, a Philippine Government survey showed that 83% of the Conservative Party's supporters had little interest in restoring a monarchy, many of them agreeing that a monarchy is unconstitutional and the conservative approach truly lies within a presidential republic and the works of the Katipunan and revolutionary parties.

Gustavo Juarez-Rivera, a supporter and Conservative Party-columnist from Metro Manila stated, "While modern-day people from the Conservative Party do respect our founding fathers, in those like Villa Ortiz and Sancho Cruz de Quirós, what they had in store, is rather outdated and we share almost no commonalities with their original goals. Almost no citizen of the Philippines, whether the most staunch Spanish-speaking Catholic, or a Malay-speaking Moro Muslim, wants to see a foreign monarch representing our state."

By 2003, although the Conservative Party made no official announcements of any ideological changes, all mentions of the Spanish monarch or any type of monarchy had verbally vanished, putting most of its energies and efforts on simply restoring Spanish language and culture. The only place where a pro-monarchy remnant remained was through the party's "Goals and Statement" site. Despite this, it remained unmentioned by the party's leaders and the party refused to answer questions about its original intent to install a constitutional monarchy in the archipelago.

In 2012, the Conservative Party updated its website, officially removing all mentions of the Spanish monarchy. Though it still maintained and retained the desire to restore the significance of the descendants of the colonial Principales in society, as the party is a right-wing group. 

The party heavily opposed Gilbert Teodoro's move to officiate Malay as the third official state language, alongside Filipino and English. Party members and leaders called it a "disgrace". It also voiced heavy opposition to the nomination and eventually, post-humous promotion of Ahmad Salahuddin as a Philippine National Hero. Conservative Party leaders called it a disgraceful act, as they viewed Salahuddin as a traitor to the Philippine nation due to the decade-long war he waged against its government. 

Party leader Hernán Sánchez y Rodrigo filed a petition, which received over 45,000 signatures to have Ahmad Salahuddin's status as a Philippine National Hero removed. Instead, the Conservative Party wanted to replace Ahmad Salahuddin with either Datu Jawa (Spanish name: Don Pablo) or Don Cristóbal, two Tausūg chiefs from the Spanish colonial era that converted to Roman Catholicism, and helped the Spanish and Filipino ground troops fight the Moro raiders. After a review, the Philippine government rejected the petitions, finding that the majority of Filipinos supported Ahmad Salahuddin, thanks to the overwhelming political influence of the Parti Kebangsaan Mindanao, one of two of Mindanao's most powerful political parties.

The change in the Conservative Party's ideology had finally gained back trust among many Filipinos, in 2013, garnering its highest number of supporters. It began to pose challenge to Gilbert Teodoro's bid to re-enter the 2016 elections. It also began to pose a serious challenge against the Parti Kebangsaan Mindanao and Lakas-CMD. On June 2, 2015, the party announced a concentrated effort to enter the 2016 Philippine Elections, with Hernán Sánchez y Rodrigo announcing his intention to become the president of the Philippines. This is contrary to past leaders' attempts to enter Philippine Elections, as all of them had stated an intention to become the "last president, and first Prime Minister under the King". When asked about the Conservative Party's ideology, Rodrigo made no mentions of the monarchy, and simply stated, "Our goal is to restore, promote and protect Spanish language, culture and traditions in the country. We also want to ensure security for all Filipinos and ensure in a powerful and glorious Philippines. Anything else, is outside of our goals".

During an interview with global and conservative political commentator William Buck in Texas on a televised episode of his radio/TV-show Being RightHernán was questioned about the party's past stances on a constitutional monarchy. Hernán stated, "My intention is to become president of the Philippines. A president, elected by the people, by respecting the people. As for the king of Spain, sure, may God protect him and his people. But I don't bow down to any King in Earth, neither do I plan to. Felipe VI is the King of Spain and Spain only."

This interview went nationwide and pretty much confirmed the party's abandonment of the idea behind a constitutional monarchy in the Philippines.

However, political opponents have been skeptical, seeing the Conservatives' shelving the idea of a constitutional monarchy as a mere ploy to achieve their goal.

Hakimul Salamat, an advocate for the Parti Kebangsaan said, "I don't trust a thing the Conservatives are saying. Their goal to establish some foreign monarch as head of the state hasn't gone anywhere, they're just lying and hiding to gain sympathy from constitution-abiding Filipinos. One they get a president in, that person will surely make an attempt to become our last. Though whether or not they really do plan to have us all bowing down to some foreign king, their goal from the beginning has always been the same: to continue the Spanish Inquisition, and to destroy our culture and assimilate the natives of not only Mindanao, but also Sulu, Palawan and Cebu, to the psuedo culture established by our historical colonial enemies."

After Hernán Sánchez lost the 2016 elections to Mindanao-based Rodrigo Duterte, his party focused on getting Spanish language re-officiated. In 2016, the Conservative Party was successful in finally getting President Rodrigo Duterte to approve the officiating of Spanish, which would become the fourth official language of the Philippines, joining Filipino, English and Malay. However, the manner in which it was done was contervoursial, with Rodrigo Duterte telling interviewers, "If it could finally get the Conservative Party to shut up, which I hope it will." 

However, the Conservative Party stated that they were not done, and were working on a bill that would strip English and Malay from their official statuses. Rodrigo Duterte put the Conservative Party under fire, saying, "I will not strip English and Malay from their official statuses. I will however, reverse my decision on re-officiating Spanish language if those wannabe Latinos do not shut their pieholes." The Conservative Party later abandoned it, likely in fears of Duterte reversing the state officiating of Spanish language.

Political Beliefs

Historically and originally, the goal of the Conservative Party of the Philippines was two re-establish ties with the Spanish Crown, restore Spanish language, culture and tradition whilst maintaining a sovereign nation. The original Conservatives preferred a constitutional monarchy, with the Prime Minister as the Head of Government and the Monarch was the Head of State, and the Pope as the leader of Christianity and of religious affairs in the country.

The original ideology behind the Conservatives' political motives is unique. The reigning Monarch wouldn't be hailed as the "King of Spain", but an independent King of the Philippines. This situation very similar to Queen Elizabeth II's case, where in Canada and New Zealand she isn't hailed as the Queen of England, but independently as the Queen of Canada and the Queen of New Zealand.

The independent titling of a "King of the Philippines", would have, according to supporters of the idea, maintained the Philippines' sovereignty while at the same time, keeping its ties with Spanish royalty.

There were two types of supporters. One group supported the most conservative approach, in which the King of Spain was to be the King of the Philippines, known as the Villalobos Doctrine. The other supported a nativist and nationalistic approach, wanted a Filipino-born national, known as the Saragoza Doctrine.

Writer, author and Conservative Party supporter, and nationalist Alberto de Quirino y Saragoza, the latter doctrine's namesake stated, "The monarch of the Philippines should be, a citizen, native and national of the country, let alone being a Roman Catholic. Having a foreign-born and a non-Filipino monarch extremely undermines the sovereign status of the Philippines."

However, supporters of the Villalobos Doctrine argue that it would be extremely difficult to find a Philippine native to crown, as the jealousy and opposition amongst other Filipinos and disputes over who should be King, would likely cause sectarian violence. 

Carlos Alberto Córdoba y Villalobos, the founder of the latter doctrine argued, "It is understandable that Saragoza and his supporters would want a native monarch. However, that opens the door of a barrage of problems. This Filipino wants to be King, that Filipino wants to be King, the disagreements over who should be the the reigning Monarch would likely cause sectarian violence, and eventually at worst, God forbid, civil war. This is why, it is best that the King of Spain assume the throne, and position as King of the Philippines."

Conservatives regard José Rizal as the founder of the Philippines. Sancho Abelló y Terrazas, the leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1981, argued that Rizal never encouraged rebellion or revolution, and wanted to establish a sovereign state with maintaining ties to the Spanish monarch and with the Roman Catholic Church.

Social beliefs

Same Sex Marriage

The Conservative Party is against same-sex marriage, and has, unsuccessfully tried to pass bills that would ban and/or restrict LGBT movements in the Philippines. In spite of being a predominantly Catholic nation, the Philippines is one of the most gay-friendly nations in the world. Much of these anti-homosexual pogroms were made under the leadership of Sancho Abelló y Terrazas, but didn't come into prominence until the leadership of José Chavarría, who was put under global criticism from LGBT activists. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has long-supported and endorsed attempts by the Conservative Party to restrict and eventually, outlaw LGBT movements. In 2013, Terrazas and Rodrigo introduced a municipal bill that would designate public sexual acts between two same sexes as a form of public indecency.

On January 2, 2014 Carlos de Villalobos, the mayor of Cristo el Salvador was criticized for a controversial statement. He had said, "I hate gay people. They need to be diagnosed, healed by the power of God or be imprisoned." 

The mayors of San Lorenzo, Manila del Sur, San Navarre and many cities in Batangas also stated their support of banning same-sex marriage and outlawing all LGBT activities, and to label homosexuality as a mental disorder in the Philippines.

Birth control and abortion

The Conservative Party is also against abortion and birth control. They provided the momentum in fighting against the RH bill that allowed free birth control pills and condoms to be given by medical institutions. Hernan Sanchez y Rodrigo, the party's current leader said, "The bill is evil and is forcing doctors to violate a person's God-given mission to be on the Earth." 

Religion

Philippine Conservatives are highly aligned with the Roman Catholic Church, and want Catholicism to be the representing religion of the Philippines. They want the Pope to be the religious leader of the Philippines and Catholicism to be the country's state religion. They support the Philippines' membership into the Catholic Commonwealth and Latin Union. The Conservative Party currently helps and supports Catholic crusader movements in the non-Catholic areas in the Philippines to convert people to Catholicism. Like the Spanish rulers, Catholic converts are given high honors, praises, community support and luxurious gifts, paid for by both Catholic donors and the Conservative Party. They are also against Protestants, Baptists and non-Catholic sections of Christianity, and want all presidential candidates to be given the requirement of being Roman Catholic to run. Sancho Abelló y Terrazas stated that Protestantism and Baptism are "products of evil rebellion", and that Christians are to be obedient to their superiors. in this case, the King and the Pope. 

During a public speech in 2014, he made negative criticisms and comments about the Anglican Church, and Conservative parties that promote Westminster politics (such as the British and Canadian Conservative Parties), stating that queens should never be bowed down to and only kings should be, stating that the Anglican conservatives are the "opposite" of righteous Catholics. He called Queen Elizabeth II a daughter of Satan. 

Paradoxically, the Conservatives' modeled their ideological beliefs in Westminster government.

Afterward, the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom released a refuting statement, stating that Sancho was banned from entering the United Kingdom for three years. Canada and New Zealand, being under Conservative "Tory" leaderships as well, also followed, issuing two-year bans against Sancho from entering their countries. 

Language

Another major goal of the Conservatives is to make Spanish the national language of the Philippines, alongside Filipino. They argue that the Philippine historical documents were all written in Spanish. Conservatives want to see Spanish replace English as the major language alongside Filipino. After the Borneo War, the Conservatives opposed the Philippine government's decision to make Malay a third official language in the Philippines. Hernan Sanchez y Rodrigo argued that the Philippines is not a Malay country, and that Malay is ancient history in the Philippines. "I am appalled at the government's decision to officiate Malay. Look here, we are Filipinos, we are not Indonesians, we are not Malaysians. The names 'Philippines' and 'Filipino' are of Spanish origin. Malay is a language that was spoken a thousand years ago, but that's it, it's not needed, it's our ancient past. The Philippines was established by the Spaniards, and it is the glory of Spanish culture that united the Philippines, not Malay. If anything, the Malays are the ones that divided us, turning Muslims against Christians. Our constitution was written in Spanish, the works of Dr. Rizal were all written in Spanish, not Malay. So to see the government avoid officiating Spanish but to make Malay official and try to integrate us into the seas of hostility that lie below us, is despicable."

Philippine Conservatives want all newborn children to be named accordingly to Catholic and Spanish traditions, where each person is to adopt a Spanish name. 

Society

The Philippine Conservatives support the restoring and re-introducing of the Spanish social stratification system, particularly the resurrecting of the Principalía, the elite and privileged class during the days of Spanish colonisation. The New Principalía, one of the political parties that eventually merged to form the Conservative Party was formed for this reason and took its name from the class of society during Spanish rule. Because the Philippine Constitution forbids the recognition of royal titles, attempts to revive the Principalía failed. However, attempts are being made to create a social organization influenced from the colonial elite class. 

Military and Law Enforcement

The Conservative Party also stresses in a strong-standing military force in the county, and a well-trained law enforcement. Conservative Party leaders stress in the need for all military and police forces across the nation to get rid of incompetent leaders, and install "true leaders".

The Conservative Party is opposed to Corazon Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos' handling of the creation of the Mindanao Constabulary, particularly the police in which the Mindanao Constabulary carries down the legacy, lineage and histories of the Mindanao Free Army and the Royal Sulu Army, two separatist armies that fought the Philippine government from 1949 to 1967. 

The Conservatives supported the Philippine military occupation of Sabah, seeing it as an opportunity to spread Roman Catholicism in the former Malaysian territory. In 2015, they criticized Gilbert Teodoro's decision to remove Filipino troops from Sabah in an act of independence-granting, seeing it as an act of incompetence.

They also supported stronger Filipino military presence in the Spratly Islands, and condemned China's actions in the South China Sea. 

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