Group pushes Sara to run for president

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    A MULTISECTORAL group led by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco yesterday urged President Duterte to back out of his planned vice presidential bid to give way to the presidential bid of his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who has said only one Duterte should run for a national position next year.

    The Hugpong Para kay Sara (HNP) was formally launched in Makati City yesterday to convince the mayor to run for president even after her father has already accepted his nomination as vice presidential candidate of a faction of the ruling PDP-Laban.

    “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 his daughter,” said former Davao del Norte governor and HPS chairman emeritus Anthony del Rosario.

    Del Rosario, who is also the spokesman for the mayor’s regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), said the presidential daughter has been consistent with her stand that only one Duterte can run for national office in 2022.

    He led the oath-taking of over 15,000 HPS supporters, chapter members and officers during a virtual launch of what they called a “citizen’s movement.”

    Duterte-Carpio thanked her supporters for their trust.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said everyone should just wait for the filing of certificates of candidacies next month. “Hindi pa naman po tapos ang lahat… Habang hindi pa po dumadating ang October 8, hindi pa po natin alam kung sino sa dalawang Duterte ang maghahain ng kanilang certificate of candidacy (It is not over yet… Until October 8 comes, we do not know who between the two Dutertes will file their certificate of candidacy),” he said.

    Del Rosario said Duterte-Carpio, being presidential daughter, does necessarily mean she agrees with her father all the time.

    “She has an independent mind. She makes her decision. She is version 2.0, may halo po itong Zimmerman. ‘Pag Duterte at Zimmerman, mas maganda ang produkto (She is also a Zimmerman. When you combine a Zimmerman and Duterte, you get a better product),” Del Rosario said.

    The mayor last Thursday declared she was not running for president after her father officially accepted his nomination led by the faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

    She said she decided not to run for a national position “as we both agreed only one of us will run for a national position in 2022.”

    The PDP-Laban faction led by Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Emmanuel Pacquiao believes Duterte-Carpio will still end up as the administration’s standard-bearer, saying the tandem of Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go and the President is nothing but a “smokescreen.”

    Go declined the faction’s nomination as presidential candidate.

    Deputy speaker Bernadette Herrera, HPS spokesman, said many HPS members “were gradually attracted to Mayor Sara’s quiet yet potent character, which to them is the mark of a good leader.

    She said the HPS is composed of people from all walks of life who are not pushing for their own selfish interests and are not part of traditional politics.

    “We’ve set up HPS, and is now snowballing through the regions as people from all sectors, walks of life, and political inclinations are joining it as we go along,” she said adding HPS chapters have been formed in the National Capital Region including San Juan, Pasig, Caloocan, Paranaque, Quezon City, Makati and Muntinlupa.

    Abra Rep. Joseph Bermas, HPS vice president for special concerns, batted for a Duterte-Carpio-Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos tandem.

    “I think this is the best team that can lead the country in the next six years due to their combined experience and genuine empathy for the common folk of this country,” he said. – With Ashzel Hachero and Jocelyn Montemayor