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Sara Duterte-Carpio keeping her party a ‘southern’ power

/ 07:04 AM March 25, 2018

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio

DAVAO CITY — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio means no offense but she has a polite word to senators seeking membership in her rising regional political party: You’re welcome, but…

The President’s daughter on Friday said national politicians  seeking membership in her Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) could not join in as party regulars.

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“It is a regional political party for us in the Davao region,” Sara said of the HNP, which she cofound last month with Southern Mindanao governors.

She was reacting to a statement by Sen. JV Ejercito that he and several other senators might join the HNP if they failed to make the senatorial slate of her father’s PDP-Laban in next year’s midterm elections.

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“I think that is not possible,” Sara said. “This is only for Region 11.”

But she said the HNP is open to forging alliances with politicians running for national seats.

Forge alliances

“Maybe, what we can do is forge alliances with them. Everybody is welcome to be our allies,” she said.

Ejercito said last week that he and five other reelectionist senators supportive of President Duterte were considering joining the HNP after the senatorial slate announced by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the PDP-Laban secretary general, did not include them.

“We have already talked with Mayor Sara. We are supportive of the President but it seems PDP-Laban did not want us,” Ejercito told reporters.

PDP-Laban senatorial slate

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Senators Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay and Grace Poe are also open to joining the HNP, he said.

At the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in Caloocan City last week, Alvarez bared the names of eight legislators and Palace officials who, he said, were the party’s choices for its senatorial slate.

The eight are Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, presidential adviser on political affairs Francis Tolentino, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman and Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles.

Alvarez’s list left only four empty slots in the ruling party’s ticket. All eight were known either for their close association with the President or for being stalwarts of the ruling party.

The Speaker said Mr. Duterte chose Mangudadatu to provide Moro representation in the Senate and Roman, a transgender, to provide the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community a voice in the chamber.

The party, however, has yet to release its official senatorial lineup for 2019. —REPORTS FROM ALLAN NAWAL AND KRIXIA SUBINGSUBING

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TAGS: HNP, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, JV Ejercito, regional political party, Sara Duterte-Carpio
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