By Junex Doronio
July 21, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Not so fast, Inday, as the five national parties that earlier announced to be forging an alliance with presidential daughter Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) are now appearing to be harboring second thoughts over the “dictatorial tendencies” of the small regional party.
Sources said the party leaders are delaying signing the draft agreement with the regional party over the provision that gives HNP the sole authority to choose a presidential candidate for the coalition, and the other parties are expected to support that choice without any questions.
“Both parties agree to give their full and unqualified support to the presidential candidate to be selected by HNP,” Section 2 of the draft agreement said.
The five national parties who are now hesitating to finalize their alliance with HNP are the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) led by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., the National Unity Party (NUP) led by political strategist Ronaldo Puno, the Nacionalista Party (NP) of former Senate President Manny Villar, the Pwersa ng Masa Pilipino (PMP) founded by former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada, and the People’s Reform Party (PRP) founded by the late senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.
“There are parties that are agreeable to that provision, but there are also some [that] would prefer a provision that requires mutual consent from both parties with regards to the choice of president,” HNP secretary-general Anthony del Rosario claimed.
It was learned that another “thorny” provision of the draft agreement is the banning of allied parties from fielding their own candidates in the entire Davao Region.
“[Allied party] shall not field local candidates for Region XI and shall consider all HNP candidates as their supporters within the region,” Section 5 of the provision reads.
In 2019 mid-term elections, all local candidates backed by Inday Sara lost in Davao del Norte, the bailiwick of Davao Congressman Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez who was ousted as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2018 due to the maneuvers of the presidential daughter.
The feisty Davao City mayor has expressed openness to run for president after her closed-door meeting with Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia recently but still has not made her final decision. (AI/MTVN)