Mayor Sara Duterte’s Hugpong recruits more members | Inquirer News

Mayor Sara Duterte’s Hugpong recruits more members

/ 07:57 PM August 04, 2018

TAGUM CITY — Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the party formed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, continued to gain strength here as it swore in thousands of new members in Davao del Norte province while forging alliances with national candidates.

On Friday, Aug. 3, Duterte swore in 6,000 new members from barangay, town and provincial officials at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in this city even as she announced her support for eight political bets who would be running for senator in the 2019 midterm elections.


Duterte named at least eight senatorial bets that the party would be supporting in next year’s midterm elections, though, the mayor said, she might endorse more.

The political bets, who belonged to different national parties, include incumbent Senators Cynthia Villar (NPC) and JV Ejercito (PMP); Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.


According to the mayor, the HNP senatorial slate also include Senators Pia Cayetano and Sonny Angara, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangundadatu, and Bureau of Corrections Director Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, a former chief of the Philippine National Police chief.

“I’m asking for your support as one party, please do help our senatorial candidates,” the mayor told the new members.

Duterte, however, clarified that HNP, which was formed as a regional political party, would remain local.

She also said she might personally endorse more than eight candidates to pay back those who helped her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, in the 2016 presidential elections.

The mayor said the party would continue building and recruiting new members by forging alliances with other local government units across the country.

Aside from Marcos, the HNP is set to bring into its fold Pampanga Gov.Lilia Pineda, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano and the Jalosjoses of Zamboanga del Norte.

“We would sign up alliances with other LGUs and come up with a senatorial slate. We are recruiting more members and focus in the 2019 elections,” Duterte said.


The mayor reiterated that local officials need not leave their national party affiliations to join HNP, which is only a regional party.

In fact, she said, Davao Occidental Gov. Claude Bautista is with Villar’s Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and Compostela Valley Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy remains with PDP-Laban.

Davao del Norte Gov. Antonio Rafael del Rosario and Davao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. are independents who have also joined the HNP.

Del Rosario said all of the eight towns and three cities in Davao del Norte were represented at Friday’s event.

Among the local governments whose full set of officials took oath under HNP was the municipality of New Corella under Mayor Rhodora Alcoran.

Also present was Compostela Valley Vice Gov. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, a PDP member.

According to Duterte, with Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as PDP‘s top man in Davao del Norte, HNP was expecting the former speaker to field a full slate in the province.

“We are preparing for the PDP to field a full slate in Davao del Norte. Our candidates can count on HNP’s support [to counter that],” she said.

Duterte reiterated her stand that she would not seek for a national post in the midterm polls.

In Davao del Sur, Digos City Mayor Joseph Peñas said scores of local chief executives in the League of Cities in the Philippines (LMP) outside the Davao Region had been asking how to join the party.

Peñas, who chairs HMP in Davao del Sur, raised the possibility that the political party originally conceived for the regions might evolve into a national one.

After the swearing in of new members in Tagum City on Friday, Mayor Duterte will be in Davao Occidental and Digos City in Davao del Sur on August 6 to swear in more members, Peñas said. /atm

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