Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago seizes the initiative from problematic PDP Laban


Upon the election of then Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte as President of the Republic of the Philippines, under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), in 2016, the PDP Laban national political party had no way to go but up. As TRAPOs (TRAditional POliticianS) jumped on the PDP Laban band wagon, PDP Laban easily achieved a SUPER MAJORITY head count in the House of Representatives and controlled the Duterte Administration Coalition in the Senate. PDP stalwarts Koko Pimentel became Senate President and Pantaleon Alvarez became House Speaker. By absorbing incumbent congressmen/women, governors and mayors into the PDP fold, PDP was poised to SWEEP the 2019 midterm senatorial and local elections to totally demolish the Aquino Administration dominant political group, the Liberal Party. sara hnp cropped

On the way to a projected 2019 PDP Laban sweep of the senatorial elections, then Speaker Alvarez floated what he thought to be the absolutely brilliant idea of packing the PDP senatorial slate with long-time (but not nationally prominent) PDP leaders from the House of Representatives. The thinking was that since local elections would be won by PDP, then it was but natural for the PDP senatorial candidates to be carried to electoral victory. Left on the sidelines to mull their future are Duterte Administration Coalition incumbent senators who are up for re-election but are not PDP members (Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Sonny Angara and JV Ejercito). Note: Koko Pimentel (of PDP Laban) and Bam Aquino (of the opposition Liberal Party) are also for re-election.

A separate issue that involves PDP Laban is the running feud between former Speaker Alvarez and the Presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. The feisty Mayor from Davao City organized a Davao regional political party named Hugpong ng Pagbabago and got the support of at least 4 out of 5 Davao region governors. The obvious motivation is to challenge Alvarez (who is a congressman from the Davao region) and the PDP in the 2019 local elections.

Pimentel was then removed as Senate President. Alvarez was kicked out as House Speaker in a coup that happened in dramatic fashion on the day that the President delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA). Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took over the House leadership. Mayor Sara called on a number of congressmen/women to effect the Alvarez ouster. The back room maneuverings and removal of her arch rival as House Speaker propelled Mayor Inday Sara to national prominence and sooner or later, NATIONAL political parties made a bee line to secure a formal alliance with Hugpong ng Pagbabago. While the PDP belatedly included the non-PDP re-electionist senators in their list of 24 possible candidates (for twelve slots), they still have to undergo a trimming process thus their future in the PDP ticket still hangs at a balance. On the other hand Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago already includes Senators Villar, Ejercito and Angara in their line-up. Together with come backing Senator Pia Cayetano, SAP Bong Go and former PNP chief Bato Dela Rosa, Hugpong ng Pagbabago is ready and able to challenge PDP for the most number of senators elected in 2019. Please take note that there would be common candidates between the two parties with Bong Go and Pia Cayetano, among others, being fielded by the rival pro-Duterte political  parties. Still, in the final analysis, even after counting the common candidates for both sides, when the dust settles after the 2019 midterm elections, either PDP Laban or Hugpong ng Pagbabago will have more senatorial seats won (unless there is a tie). Should PDP Laban elect more senators, everyone would just say that the development had been expected due to the long history of PDP Laban  and the huge numbers of politicians that crossed over to them after the 2016 Presidential elections. However, a Hugpong ng Pagbabago victory would deal a crushing blow to PDP Laban and elevate Sara Duterte to national stature.


#Duerte #SaraDuterte #HugpongNgPagbabago #TapangAtMalasakit


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