Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte as party chairman led the formation Friday afternoon in Davao City a new regional political party named as Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), swearing in more than 500 incumbent officials led by four of the five governors in Davao Region.
Besides the governors, other officials who took oath during the HNP founding convention were mayors, board members, councilors and barangay captain representatives across the region except Davao del Sur Gov. Douglas Cagas and his loyal pack, although there was also a good number of officials from his province attending.
The convention was also less of the 11 congressmen in the region except Davao del Norte 2nd District Cong. Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo.
Floirendo however left the venue, The Royal Mandaya Hotel, at past 2 p.m. before the mass oathtaking of the first batch of HNP members took place.
The congressman has a warrant of arrest issued by the Sandiganbayan Wednesday in connection with the graft case filed by Speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Cong. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez. The case is bailable by P30,000.
Closing in ranks with Mayor Duterte were Governors Claude Bautista (Davao Occidental, HNP president), Nelson Dayanghirang (Davao Oriental, HNP vice president, Anthony del Rosario (Davao del Norte, HNP secretary) and Jayvee Tyron Uy (Compostela Valley, HNP treasurer).
With the joining of majority of governors and their respective packs of leaders, Davao Region or Region XI, President Duterte’s home region effectively became an HNP country even as Davao del Norte remains to be a house divided between the turfs of feuding Congressmen Alvarez and Floirendo, who is allied with Gov. Del Rosario.
Mayors from Davao del Norte who sworn in to HNP were only Floirendo’s five ally mayors while the other five mayors stick with the Alvarez’ PDP-Laban.
It turned out that those who sworn in since late last year during the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking activities pushed by Speaker Alvarez like the contingent from Compostela Valley led by Gov. Uy and several packs from Davao del Sur not loyal to Gov. Cagas (Nacionalista Party to PDP-Laban) have defected again to the regional party.
In an interview, Uy said there is “no conflict” as he would give officials in his province freedom to choose whether they would remain with PDP-Laban as their national party or be with HNP as their regional party.
Around 99.8 percent of Comval officials from provincial down to barangay levels swore to be new PDP-Laban members in mass oathtaking administered by Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel Aug. last year.
Uy said he already had resigned from PDP-Laban Friday morning to be with HNP that is still to be registered and accredited with the Commission on Elections. The convention is one of the requirements.
Gov. Bautista said he was “considered resigned” from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), while Gov. Dayanghirang said he “intends to resign” from the Liberal Party, and Gov. Del Rosario said he already resigned from the LP last November.
Mayor Duterte said HNP would be a regional party which would focus in bringing equitable development of Davao Region during Duterte administration.
As Davao del Norte remains a house divided in the new political realignment, with the swearing in of ex-Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, ex-Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy or the switching of the Uys from Alvarez camp to HNP fold, Mayor Sara Duterte said she would “not interfere in the politics of Davao del Norte”.
The Speaker intends “to run a full slate in Davao del Norte” in the coming elections, the mayor echoed the words of the Speaker whom she said called up her husband Atty. Mans Carpio to ask for help.
But she asked Speaker Alvarez to exclude her from his attacks by not mentioning her name “even in whispers or even in thinking on her” otherwise she might abandon her own campaign in the next election and go to his district to ensure he would lose in his reelection bid.
The mayor fumed on her social media posts Thursday over purported says-so of Alvarez that she is part of the opposition by forming HNP and that he could impeach the President, which were all denied by the Speaker, while the President called it as just an intrigue by the “media again.”
The Speaker earlier said he never said those words and would never said those words to Dutertes.
Mayor Sara Duterte said “a mayor” who was not around in the convention told her the information.
“He is a friend of the Speaker,” she added.
“Who is he, the male mayor, a friend of the Speaker and who can communicate with Mayor Sara, who sow the intrigue?” commented a councilor who asked not to he identified at the sidelines of the jampacked HNP convention. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)