The possibility of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) endorsing the presidential bid of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos surfaced yesterday as Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte revealed that she and the son of the late strongman have discussed plans on how the political party she founded could help Marcos in the Davao region.
“What we talked about for now is how HnP can help his bid for presidency in the Davao region,” Duterte-Carpio said in an interview in Liloan, Cebu during her visit to the vote-rich province.
The daughter of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated that she would not be running for president in next year’s elections.
“No, I don’t have plans to run,” she categorically said.
Duterte-Carpio is said to be endorsing Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s reelection bid next year, according to Liloan Cebu town Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco Sunday.
“Mayor Sara and Sen. Bongbong are endorsing Governor Gwen,” said Frasco, who is Garcia’s daughter.
Frasco made the confirmation when asked about what had transpired during the meeting of Garcia, Duterte-Carpio, and Marcos’ at her residence in Cebu City Saturday night.
In a social media post, Duterte-Carpio thanked the Garcia-Frasco clan for the invitation.
“Maraming salamat muli Gov. Gwen, Mayor Christina, Cong. Duke and family sa salo-salo at pagkakaibigan. Siyempre bago magtapos, di mawawala ang mga trademark handsigns natin — 👊✌ at ☝ para sa One Cebu! In life, it is always best to fly, soar, win!” Duterte-Carpio wrote in a post. (Thank you again Gov. Gwen, Mayor Christina, Cong Duke and family for the friendship and get-together. Of course, our trademark signs will always be there for One Cebu! In life, it’s always best to fly, soar, win!)
Garcia leads the One Cebu party, the provincial party that helped then-Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte boost his presidential bid in 2016.
This was not the first time that Duterte-Carpio backed the gubernatorial bid of Garcia.
Back in 2019, Duterte-Carpio’s HnP, then a regional party, forged an alliance with One Cebu to support Garcia’s candidacy.
HnP is founded and headed by Duterte-Carpio herself. The party’s officials, mostly governors in the Davao Region, meanwhile, have been urging her to succeed her father.
In another post, Duterte-Carpio confirmed to have a “closed-door meeting” with Marcos and her sister, Senator Imee Marcos, that lasted for almost three hours.
Here, they discussed how HnP can help boost Marcos’ numbers in the Davao region, the President’s daughter revealed.
“What we talked about for now is how HnP in the Davao region can help his bid for the presidency,” Duterte-Carpio told local reporters in Cebu on Sunday.
When asked if she has plans to run as Marcos’ running mate, Duterte-Carpio said it is something that they have not discussed yet.
She maintained that she will not seek the presidency in 2022 either.
The local chief executive also thanked Cebuanos for the warm welcome whenever she visits the province, saying she is “overjoyed” by their support.
Duterte-Carpio arrived in Cebu province last Friday, two weeks after she contracted Covid-19.
On the first day of her trip, she had a meeting with Marcos, who arrived earlier in the city to lead the inauguration of his campaign headquarters.
Their meeting sparked speculations that the two will team up for the 2022 elections as Marcos still does not have a running mate to date.
However, Marcos’ campaign manager — lawyer Vic Rodriguez — said their meeting was just “another beautiful coincidence.”
Duterte-Carpio said she was there to attend the birthday celebration of Tingog Partylist Rep. Yedda Romualdez — the wife of House Majority Leader and Leyte Congressman Martin Romualdez and only crossed paths with Marcos at the venue.
Romualdez and Marcos are cousins.
On Sunday morning, she attended the inauguration of the new port, Pier 88, in Liloan.
Cebu is considered the most vote-rich province in the Philippines with at least three million votes.
Despite filing her Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for reelection, Duterte-Carpio’s supporters remain hopeful that she will heed their appeal for her to gun for the highest post in the land.
On Sunday, the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) Cusi wing expressed the possibility of a common administration bet in next year’s presidential race.
Appearing at Sunday’s “Balitaan sa Maynila” forum, PDP Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag said “PDP Laban is open to any coalition of parties and the combining of forces until 15 November which is the deadline of the substitution of candidates but it should be on the condition that the continuity of the programs started by President Rodrigo Duterte is ensured.”
PDP Laban’s Cusi wing has endorsed the tandem of Senators Bato de la Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go while former Senator Bongbong Marcos has filed his candidacy under the Nacionalista Party. Duterte-Carpio party had earlier filed her CoC as a reelectionist for Davao City mayor.
with Michelle R. Guillang, Sundy Locus and Pat Santos