2022 Philippine Elections

Sara says she discussed HNP helping Marcos’ presidential bid


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Sara says she discussed HNP helping Marcos’ presidential bid

CEBU MEETING. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos meet in Cebu City.

Sara Duterte's Facebook page

'What we talked about is how HNP (Hugpong ng Pagbabago) in [the] Davao Region can help his bid for the presidency,' Sara Duterte says in an ambush interview with local media

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Sunday, October 24, said she discussed in a meeting with presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in Cebu how her regional party could help his presidential bid.

“What we talked about is how HNP (Hugpong ng Pagbabago) in [the] Davao Region can help his bid for the presidency,” Duterte told local media in an ambush interview live-streamed on SunStar Cebu’s Facebook page.

It was her first time speaking to the media after arriving in Cebu on Friday evening, October 22.

Marcos had arrived earlier the same day, fueling suspicions that the two might become a tandem – with Duterte as vice president – via substitution.

Rappler reached out to HNP spokesperson Anthony del Rosario to clarify whether the party was endorsing Marcos for president, but we have not received a reply as of this posting.

Duterte had just come from speaking with local mayors at a League of Municipalities-Cebu (LMP-Cebu) in Liloan town in northern Cebu.

Her spokesperson Christina Garcia-Frasco is the mayor of Liloan town and the president of LMP-Cebu. She is also the daughter of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia.

On Saturday afternoon, October 23, the Davao City mayor met with Garcia and Marcos.

Sara denies presidential bid again

When asked by reporters if she had plans to run for president via substitution, Duterte – again – denied that she would run.

“No, I do not have plans to run for president,” she said during the ambush interview.

Duterte has denied plans to run for the presidency several times over the past weeks.

Supporters have been calling for her to run for president and she was floated as a potential standard-bearer for PDP-Laban. The presidential daughter said last October 4, however, that she had no plans of running under the ruling party

Duterte reiterated this stance during the LMP-Cebu meeting, saying that she would pursue her reelection bid for mayor of Davao City.

“Ayaw kalimti ikampanya inyong amiga sa Davao isip mayor (Don’t forget to campaign for your friend from Davao for mayor),” she told Cebu mayors.

Cebu meeting

Sara and Marcos spoke for several hours at a private residence in Cebu City on Saturday afternoon, and celebrated the birthday of Yedda Romualdez, wife of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, a cousin of Bongbong, later that evening.

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Before the LMP-Cebu meeting on Sunday, she attended the opening of Pier 88, a port project connecting Mactan Island with Liloan via ferry.

At the LMP-Cebu meeting, Duterte spoke about Davao City’s experience in dealing with COVID-19 and reminded mayors about her Cebu roots in Danao City through her father. Her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman’s family is from Tuburan town in northwestern Cebu.

When asked about photos circulating on social media of her raising the hand of Garcia and Marcos, Duterte said that was meant to show her support for the Cebu governor.

“It was former senator Marcos and [me] raising the hand of Governor Gwen, supporting her candidacy [for reelection] in the province of Cebu,” Duterte said. 

According to the Commission on Elections, Cebu has at least 3.2 million voters registered as of September 2021, making it the most vote-rich province in the country.

At least 1.1 million Cebuanos voted for Duterte’s father in 2016 compared to the almost 600,000 who voted for his opponent and former interior secretary Mar Roxas. – Ryan Macasero/Rappler.com

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