Duterte invited to Hugpong ng Pagbabago final rally

Rodrigo Duterte

MAMBAJAO, Camiguin – The Hugpong ng Pagbabago is inviting President Rodrigo Duterte to its meeting de avance on May 9.

This was announced by HNP founder and chairperson Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in an interview after the campaign rally here.

“We will invite President Duterte as guest of honor and speaker. Hopefully makapunta si President sa final rally ng  HNP,” the presidential daughter said.

The final and big campaign rally of the HNP will be held in Davao City.

The HNP is supporting at least 13 candidates, namely,  former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino; re-electionists Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito Cynthia Villar and Koko Pimentel; Maguindanao Rep. Dong Mangudadatu; Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano; Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos; former journalist Jiggy Manicad; Bong Go; former PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa; and former Sens. Bong Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada.

On the other hand, President Duterte, chairman of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), is campaigning for a different set of senatoriables composed of five PDP members and seven guest candidates.

The five are Tolentino, Go, dela Rosa, Pimentel and Mangudadatu, while the seven are Angara, Villar, Ejercito; Cayetano; Marcos; Raffy Alunan and Freddie Aguilar.

President Duterte refused to support the comebacking Revilla and Estrada due to their involvement in the corruption issue. The two were charged with plunder for allegedly earning kickbacks from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.

According to Mayor Sara, the presence of President Duterte is important for the administration candidates to boost their chances of winning the senate seats.

On President Duterte’s style of campaigning, Mayor Sara said they are confident the candidates of both groups will not be affected.

“Well may plano kami na sabihan si President na mag-behave sa mga comment niya kasi hindi pareho ang slate namin. But we still want him to be there, kasi Davao City, it his city and he is the president,” she added.

For the past three months, Mayor Sara campaigned for HNP candidates from Luzon to Mindanao. They had at least 68 stops and this province is the last.

The HNP is a regional party formed by Mayor Sara and some influential political kingpins from Mindanao.

When asked if this year’s campaign is a preparation for her presidency in 2022, Mayor Sara said “No Sir, our focus is the senatorial bets, this is not about me, we want these senators to win because they are supporting President Duterte’s program.”

Alleged shading

The HNP is urging voters to report to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Commission on Elections (Comelec) any incident or suspected election cheating in their areas.

The HNP founder and chairperson made the statement following complaints of some voters here that there is already pre-shading of ballot allegedly done in the mansion of the Romualdos.

For the longest time, the Romualdos hae ruled in this island.

The HNP has formed alliance with the team of Gubernational candidate Ma. Rona Go Neri.  Neri is running against Camiguin Rep. XJ Romualdo.

“Kanina meron kaming natanggap na complaints ng vote buying, at iba pang problem ng cheating. I told them refer namon sila sa PNP and of course sa Comelec,” Mayor Duterte said in an interview after the campaign rally here.

In a related story, Mayor Duterte dismissed allegations made by Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison that her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, is out to rig the upcoming elections.

In a Facebook post, Sison said the President “is merely play-acting in the name of peace while carrying out an all-out war and scheming to rig the May 2019 elections in order to pave the way for a fascist dictatorship through charter change to a bogus federalism.”

Asked to react to Sison’s claim, Duterte said her father does not resort to cheating to win the elections.

“Ganyan ang sinasabi niya lagi doon sa amin sa Davao City when we have an elections. Sabi niya huwag mandaya because there is no honor and pride in winning na galing sa pandadaya,” she said.