LEADERS of the Hugpong Para kay Sara (HPS) on Monday appealed to President Rodrigo “Rody” R. Duterte to reconsider his plan to run for vice president and instead give way to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s possible presidential bid.
The HPS was formally launched Monday to convince Mayor Sara to go for the presidency.
The HPS is led by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco as chairman emeritus, former Davao del Norte Gov. Anthony Del Rosario as chairman, and Deputy Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon (BH) party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera as secretary general and spokesperson.
“Mayor Sara has always been consistent that only one Duterte should run for national office in 2022,” said del Rosario, who led the oath-taking.
“As the newly-appointed leaders of this movement, aside from trying to convince Mayor Sara to run for the highest post in the land, we want to respectfully persuade President Duterte not to run. This way, the country gets the benefit of considering the best candidate for the job, and that is her daughter,” del Rosario, spokesman and secretary general of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), added.
“Hindi porke anak siya ng Presidente eh lahat ng ginagawa ng Presidente ay sang-ayon siya,” del Rosario said. “She has an independent mind. She makes her decision. She is version 2.0, may halo po itong [Elizabeth] Zimmerman. ‘Pag Duterte at Zimmerman, mas maganda ang produkto.”
“Mayor Sara has a gentle heart for her constituents, especially the common folk,” del Rosario said.
“President Duterte started good programs, but that is not to say there is nothing to be improved. No government is perfect,” Herrera said.
Other HPS prominent members include ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Yap, as chairman of the House committee on appropriations; ex-Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco, University of the Philippines professor Clarita Carlos, and former Dangerous Drugs Board chief Dionisio Santiago.
The Presidential daughter announced last week that she would no longer consider the presidency after her father accepted his nomination as vice presidential candidate of PDP-Laban.
Mayor Duterte cited a supposed agreement in their family that only one of them can run for a national post in next year’s polls.
Over 15,000 supporters, chapter members and officers of HPS took their oath Monday during a virtual launch of the citizen’s movement, which aims to persuade Mayor Sara to throw her hat into the presidential derby in 2022.
HPS is a confluence of sectoral organizations and concerned individuals in the country and worldwide, from different walks of life, professions and political inclinations, who banded together to provide research and support to Mayor Sara.
The movement is not tied to any traditional party, thus giving it a unique credibility and flexibility to negotiate through the corridors of Philippine politics, pointed out by Herrera, who was one the movement’s leaders who were sworn into office during the virtual ceremony.
SHARING A COMMON ASPIRATION
During the virtual ceremony, members and chapters of HPS in National Capital Region (NCR), and other regions in the country, as well as supporters worldwide in the Middle East, Canada and the USA, pledged their loyalty, and gave “shout-outs” through various social media platforms, encouraging Mayor Sara to seek the highest post in the land.
“We share a common aspiration – to effect true and lasting change for the country. We believe Mayor Sara is the perfect person to be President, with her personality and being confident, yet quiet and reserved pero palaban at may totoong malasakit para sa bayan,” Herrera added.
LEADING IN SURVEYS
Mayor Sara has consistently led the list of Filipinos’ top bets for president in all independent surveys conducted so far.
In two non-commissioned polls conducted from July to August, both Pulse Asia and the OCTA Research Group, in their 2022 national elections survey, indicated that the Davao City Mayor remains the most preferred candidate, with 28 percent of the respondents voting for her if elections were held on the day they were interviewed.