UNITED NATIONALIST DEMOCRATIC FILIPINO ORGANIZATION (UNIDO) was the main political multi-party electoral alliance of the traditional political opposition during the turbulent years of our country under the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos in the mid-1980s. It was formed in January 1980, and was originally known as the United Democratic Opposition from 1980 to 1982. The genesis of UNIDO was to foster the marriage of convenience between two erstwhile formidable opposition of Liberal and Nacionalista Party, under the joint leadership of Late Senator Gerardo Roxas (Liberal), the father of Senator Mar Roxas and Speaker Jose “Pepito” Laurel (Nacionalista), father of Jose B. Laurel, Jr., the President of this Party now. But the untimely death of Senator Roxas, the party disregarded the previous dual leadership arrangement and made Senator Salvador Doy Laurel, the brother of Speaker Laurel as the new sole President.
As early as 1980, former Senator, assemblyman and late Vice-President Salvador Laurel of Municipality of Tanauan, Province of Batangas had been working hard to organize a united opposition party to the martial law regime of President Marcos.
The Political leaders forming UNIDO such as prominent anti-marcos leaders such as Senator Sotero Laurel, Speaker Jose Laurel Jr., former Senator and Camarines Sur assemblyman Edmundo Cea, former President Diosdado Macapagal, Zamboanga City Mayor Cesar Climaco, Senator Gerardo Roxas, Assemblyman Lito Atienza, Antique Governor Evelio Javier, Mandaluyong Assemblyman Neptali Gonzales, Pampanga Governor Jose Lingad, Senator John Osmena, Senator Dominador Aytona, Senator Lorenzo Tanada, Senator Eva-Estrada-Kalaw, Senator Rene Espina, Senator Mamintal Tamano, Senator Domocao Alonto, Assemblyman Raul Gonzales, Assemblyman Homobono Adaza, former collegian editor-in-chief and leftist Abe Sarmiento, and all significant personalities that contributed to the fall of the Marcos dictatorship. Late Vice President Laurel was able to put together under the United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO) many anti-marcos political personalities from the NP, LP, PDP-Laban, Bicol-Saro, and the Mindanao Alliance. In 1984, UNIDO won one-third of the seats in the first regular Batasang Pambansa despite massive cheating and election rules designed to favor the administration party.
UNIDO was the opposition’s potent umbrella organization in the 80’s under Senator Salvador Hidalgo Laurel audacious tutelage, cobbling together desperate opposition groups seeking to remove the late Ferdinand Marcos from power through peaceful means. The UNIDO despite its limited resources, managed to win the elections entirely dominated by KBL candidates. From makeshift stages and rallies in Plaza Miranda, UNIDO under Salvador Laurel leadership became the people’s sounding board against the repressive regime and thereafter in 1985, UNIDO came out of its cocoon and became a full grown opposition party with capabilities of destroying the manacles of dictatorship.
UNIDO gained momentum in the last week of November 1985, when the late President Ferdinand Marcos called for a presidential election due to mounted political pressures. At first, UNIDO supported Senator Salvador Laurel as its standard bearer, but the late Chino Roces was not convinced that laurel or Jovito Salonga could defeat the strongman in the polls. Roces argued that Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, the widow of assassinated Senator Benigno Aquino, should be the candidate for President. Thereafter, Roces initiated the Cory Aquino for President Movement (CAPM) to gather one million signatures in one week to urge Aquino to run as President.
Later, however, it was Cory who became the opposition’s banner holder. Senator Salvador Laurel peacefully acceded and slides to the vice presidency, living what his father late President Jose P. Laurel reared to be, it was not surprising that Doy faithfully followed, “ANG BAYAN, HIGIT SA LAHAT.”
The campaign was made in the month of Januay 1986, for the February elections. The tandem of Cory-Doy was officially lost the election to Marcos-Tolentino tandem but the elections were widely believed to be fraudulent. Both Marcos and Aquino claimed to have won the election, and held separate inaugurations on February 25, but because of the disappointment of the Filipino people, a popular revolution ensued that compels the late strongman to flee the country. After the February revolution, Cory and Doy were catapulted to power as President and Vice-President respectively.
UNIDO was dissolved after the 1987 legislative and General Elections, when new parties were formed and parties went to their own separate ways. UNIDO was revived in 2010 purposely to participate in the Party-List System of election in 2013 but was prevented by few legal obstacles to file a Petition for Registration under the Party-list System.
From the organization’s revival on 0ctober 24, 2010 until the present, UNIDO has involved itself in community activities especially workshop to push its advocacies and champion the fundamental rights of the people especially those from the CALABARZON areas. Among UNIDO’s accomplishments, projects and programs are the following:
1.) In coordination with Cavite City Mayor Romeo G. Ramos it rendered and conducted a workshop and seminar concerning the right to shelter, the policies and programs being undertaken by the government and about establishing and developing strategies that will address the housing problems of the residents of Cavite City;
2.) UNIDO held medical and dental missions in Lipa City in coordination with Mayor Meynard A. Sabili;
3.) The organization also rendered a feeding program and provided assistance to malnourished children in Brgy. Lankaan, Dasmarinas City;
4.) UNIDO wrote a letter to certain members of the House Of Representatives to enact a bill pertaining to strengthen the Residential Free Patent law;
5.) UNIDO also conducted a seminar on paralegal training of the residents of Brgy. Marinig, Cabuyao, laguna giving them update and proposed strategies on how to avail a residential free patent on unregistered alienable lands of public domain.
6.) UNIDO conducted a tree planting project to preserve and protect our ecology.
By reason of the afore-mentioned accomplishments and assistance in pursuing the above projects, UNIDO was made a recipient of several certificates of appreciation and recognition and notable of which are:
(1.) DANGAL NG BAYAN AWARDEE presented by the PEOPLE’S CHOICE during its 35th awarding in Camp Aguinaldo AFP THEATER on December 16, 2014;
(2.) Certificate of Appreciation presented by the United Landing Urban Poor Association, Inc. given on 22 June 2011;
(3.) Certificate of Recognition awarded by Damayan Bigkis Pagkakaisa Association, Inc. given on 12 December 2011;
(4.) Recognition Award given by the Municipal Government of Mataas na kahoy, Batangas issued on 06 March 2011;
(5.) Certificate of Appreciation awarded by the PCUP Relocation Site Lupang Pangako Homeowners Association, Inc. on 25 October 2012;
(6.) Certificate of Appreciation awarded by Lakas at Pag-asa Neighborhood Association, of Dasmarinas Cavite Inc. on 24 March 2011;
(7.) Certificate of Recognition awarded by the KMNAY Village Homeowners Association, Inc. given on 26 November 2011;
(8.) Certification of Recognition awarded by the Urban Poor Council of Cabuyao, given on 17 December 2014;
(9.) Certificate of Recognition given by the Purok Dulong Calmar Lucena City Neighborhood Association, Inc. on 10 December 2012;
(10.) Certificate of Appreciation presented by the City Social Welfare and Development Office of the City of Lipa, Batangas on 29 February 2012;
For reference, photocopies of the certificates of recognition are attached in this track record summary as well as pictures showing the highlights of the activities or programs conducted by UNIDO.
Source: UNIDO Partylist FB Account
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