NP cozies up to Hugpong
Hugpong ng Pagbabago, the new regional party formed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter, may be a better ally to the Nacionalista Party (NP) than the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), according to Sen. Cynthia Villar.
“Yes, they were kinder to us” than PDP-Laban, Villar, the NP chair, told reporters on Tuesday.
Villar noted how Hugpong founder, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, endorsed her and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, also an NP member, for the 2019 midterm elections, even without a formal alliance between the two parties.
In contrast, she said PDP-Laban had not shown much goodwill when it recruited 10 NP members in the early months of the Duterte administration even when the two parties had already entered into an alliance.
“We allied with them because when President Duterte won, there were only two PDP-Laban members in the House … So we thought that since we want to give support to President Duterte, it would be good to enter into an alliance with PDP-Laban,” Villar said.
“But when we saw how PDP-Laban grew, they no longer needed us, and in fact, perhaps 10 Nacionalista congressmen transferred to PDP-Laban. So is that an alliance when your members are being poached? But that’s done already,” the senator said.
Like most parties that came into power, PDP-Laban, led by its secretary general, former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and president, former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, recruited many of its current members from other parties.
At the same time, PDP-Laban forged an alliance with the same parties to form a “supermajority” in both chambers of Congress.
“An alliance is how you deal with each other. It’s how you deal with the alliance. It’s not good to poach the members of a party in your alliance. You should honor the agreement,” Villar stressed.
“Whatever. That’s done already. They are now experiencing trouble and we don’t want to add to that,” she said, alluding to party infighting that had split PDP-Laban into two factions.
Villar pointed out the differences in attitude between Hugpong and PDP-Laban in dealing with friendly parties.
“Hugpong is kind. Even without an alliance, they endorsed us in Mindanao, even without us asking. An alliance is how you are being treated. It’s not about the papers you sign,” she said.
Pimentel said PDP-Laban’s alliance with other parties remained.
“PDP-Laban has signed cooperation agreements with even the LP (Liberal Party) led by Sonny Belmonte, NP with Sen. Manny Villar, with NPC (Nationalist People’s Coalition) and NUP (National Unity Party). We have many signed agreements,” he said.
“As of the moment, these have not been revoked,” Pimentel said.
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