MANILA, Philippines – Key allies of President Rodrigo Duterte were present during the launch of the pro-government coalition, Tapang at Malasakit Alliance for the Philippines.
No less than presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio led the event held at the Marquis Events Place in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on Monday, October 23.
Among those present were Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, his wife Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos.
Marcos' brother, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, was among the losing vice presidential candidates in the 2016 polls along with Alan Peter Cayetano.
While Bongbong Marcos and Alan Peter Cayetano are both allies of the President, the two had exchanged heated words during the campaign period last year. (READ: Cayetano hits Marcos: Your family stole $10 billion)
There are rumors in political circles that Duterte-Carpio wants to run for president in 2022, with Bongbong Marcos as her vice presidential bet. The Davao City mayor, however, said she does not plan to run for any national post and is only eyeing the congressional seat in the 1st District of Davao City in 2019.
Former president and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is also part of the alliance. He is the godfather of Duterte-Carpio's youngest child Stonefish Carpio.
Other Duterte administration officials were at the launch as well, including Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Karen Jimeno, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Chairperson Andrea Domingo.
Pro-Duterte bloggers also joined the Tapang at Malasakit Alliance, like Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and Bruce Rivera.
A part of the pro-Duterte alliance's pledge reads: "Let us not be distracted by the noise created by clashing political interests. We support freedom of speech and expression, but we need to recognize the difference between constructive criticisms and destructive politicking." (READ: Tindig Pilipinas can join pro-gov't coalition – Sara Duterte)
Duterte-Carpio said members of the alliance are expected to help address the problems being faced by their respective communities.
"[We're] not [going to work] together nationally because every community has a peculiar problem. So if I'm from Taguig, I will help in Taguig. If I am from Caloocan, I will help in Caloocan. If I'm from Visayas, I'm sure there are many problems there that they can all find a solution to," she said.