MANILA, Philippines – Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the Davao regional party of Sara Duterte Carpio, signed an alliance with 3 national parties – Nacionalista Party (NP), National People’s Coalition (NPC), and National Unity Party (NUP) on Monday, August 13 in preparation for the 2019 elections.
An agreement was also signed with 6 local political parties from different parts of the country:
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said her party “badgered, begged” to enter into an alliance with HNP.
HNP Secretary-General Anthony del Rosario said HNP “did not anticipate” the level of interest that other political parties from other regions had with Carpio’s political party, given that it is only a Davao-based party.
“But with mounting pressure in building an alliance for change, we resolved to open our doors to other political parties and persons who share the same beliefs, trust, vision, and mission with HNP,” he said during a press conference.
Del Rosario, who is also governor of Davao del Norte, said the alliance wanted to ensure support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s political agenda given the impending midterm elections.
HNP is set to endorse “8 senators” who all support the Duterte administration. The balance of 4 out of a slate of 12 is open for other political parties to name candidates. Del Rosario declined to give the names of the candidates, save for Senator Cynthia Villar of NP, saying HNP is yet to finalize their list.
Part of the terms of the alliance, he said, is for all national and local parties allied with HNP to support the senators HNP will endorse.
National parties said joining HNP is just an offshoot of their support for the Duterte administration.
“From the start we’ve supported the administration of President Duterte…We want that all of our local parties and Nacionalista parties in general will align with this so we can unite and support the administration of President Duterte,” said Villar of NP.
“At the start, we were part of the at the majority coalition for President Rodrigo Duterte. To be consistent, we want to promote not just the legislative agenda, we also want to promote his political agenda,” said Capiz 2nd District Representative Fredenil Castro of NUP.
Local parties, meanwhile, hope to benefit from HNP’s clout, resources, and connection to President Duterte, given that it is being led by his eldest daughter.
“With the alliance, we are hoping the alliance can help us economically,” said Nadya Emano-Elipe of the PaDayon Pilipino, a Misamis Oriental political party.
Leaders of the local parties present said they all support Duterte’s policies and look up to Carpio as a local leader.
“We would like to ally with HNP because we believe in the advocacies of President Rodrigo Duterte…I’m a big admirer of Mayor Sara Duterte and I believe she is a good role model for women leaders like myself,” said Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, representing Serbisyo ng Bayan Party.
PDP-Laban, the national party of which President Duterte is chairman, has signed no such alliance pact with HNP. Carpio said the party leaders decided to wait for PDP-Laban to resolve conflicts between its members first.
“We would like to have an alliance with PDP-Laban but our governors and officers said in our discussions ayusin muna nila yung internal problem nila (they should fix their internal problem first),” said Carpio.
She said her father has “nothing” to do with her HNP since he remains chairman of PDP-Laban.
The President, however, is set to grace the oath-taking of HNP members in Davao City on August 17, according to Del Rosario. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.