Davao governors bolt parties to join Sara Duterte’s Hugpong

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The governors of Davao Region have bolted their respective national political parties to join the newly launched Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) organized by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Duterte-Carpio is the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, who ran under the banner of PDP-Laban in the presidential elections.

Compostela Valley Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy and Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang revealed this Friday, February 23, at a press conference held hours before the formal launch of HNP.

“Just this morning... I tendered my resignation as PDP member for reasons that we want to focus more on the region so we want to help the vision created by Hugpong specially headed by Mayor Sara,” Uy told reporters.

HNP was launched here Friday, February 23, with an estimated 500 members coming from executive branches of local governments in Southern Mindanao.

On the other hand, Dayanghirang said he has sought permission from the Liberal Party “to focus on the regional party.”

The topic on the politicians’ resignation was brought up Friday after the Commission on Elections in this region said that if HNP intends to seek accreditation as a political party, its members would need to leave their current political organizations.

But Duterte-Carpio, the chair of HNP, said there would be no issue should members remain with their existing parties since the alliance is a regional party.

Duterte-Carpio does not belong to any national political party, and said that in the past elections she ran under the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, the Davao City politcal party established by her father. 

“There is no conflict,” she said.

Meanwhile at the press conference, Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario clarified the only issue for a member under HNP is when one is registered with another regional political party, as stated in their constitution and by-laws.

“Which means if you are a member of any national or local party wala hong problema yun (that won't be a problem),” said Del Rosario. “I do not know what’s writen in other parties’ by-laws. So it depends on their parties if they’re allowed to join (HNP), but for us it’s allowed, for as long as it’s not a reigonal party.”

“But lahat kami committed to run under Hugpong (ng Pagbabago),” he added. (We are all committed to run under the party Hugpong.)

Del Rosario was member of the Liberal Party until his resignation last year.

Also part of the HNP is Davao Occidental Governor Claude Bautista. While he has not categorically said he has resigned from the National People’s Coalition, he explained that things will be sorted out on the day he would be filing his candidacy for the upcoming 2019 elections.

“Upon filing my candidacy under HNP that will be considered as resigned (from NPC), he said at the press conference.

Missing governor

The lone no-show among all the Region 11 governors at Friday’s launch was Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas.

It was unclear why Cagas was not part of HNP, but Duterte-Carpio explained the governor was out of reach at the time the party was sending out invitations.

Defending Cagas, though, she said they will be approaching him after the party has been formally established.

Gawin na muna natin yung party (We'll organize the party first), and then we’ll approach (Governor Cagas),” said the Davao City Mayor.

She said HNP will register with the Comelec as a regional party. – Rappler.com