By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – A little more than half of the Dabawenyos are aware of the formation of the regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), created in February 2018 and led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, a survey conducted by Institute of Popular Opinion released on Wednesday said.
Dr. Maria Linda B. Arquiza, assistant vice president of the Research and Publication Center of the University of Mindanao’s IPO, said that only 56% of the 1,200 respondents of the survey they are aware of the HNP, which consists of provincial, municipal, and city government officials in the region.
Conducted from April 13 to 22 with 95% confidence level, Arquiza said 43% said the have no knowledge while only 1% did not provide response.
Of those who are aware, she said that majority of them or 85% support the creation of the regional party away and different from the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) under which former city mayor and now President Rodrigo R. Duterte ran during 2016 national elections.
She said only 13% said they are opposed; 3% answered they do not yet; and 1% with no response.
Arquiza added that 79% of those with knowledge of HNP said its formation will have a ripple effect on President Duterte; 7% believed it will not; 12% said they do not know; and 2% with no response.
“Perhaps, this pertains to the impression that there are also PDP-Laba member sin the region who may be asked to choose affiliation. Likewise, budget and other support may be divided between parties knowing the relationship of the party-makers of the HNP and PDP,” she added.
The survey also showed that 87% of the respondents consider the HNP as a wise move “to strengthen the regional part, and eventually will make the political party of the president, the PDP-Laban stronger.”
“Interestingly, the competition that is associated with the formation of any political party happening in various levels tend to create an impression that the newly-formed party is a better receptacle than the previous which undoubtedly cause for system improvement and image-management review for the party,” she added.
Also, she said the survey found that the Dabawenyo voters believe that the HNP was created as a result of the political infighting in the PDP-Laban but will not weaken the Presidency.
She added the HNP will more likely to attract the national party members to join them come to the midterm elections, which should be a cause for alarm for the PDP-Laban as they may end up having “second-rate, newbie campaigners.”
The creation of the HNP made a rift between Mayor Duterte and House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, with the lawmaker allegedly accusing the presidential daughter of acting alone without the blessing of the President and that the new regional political party is product of political dynasty.
Alvarez alters vehemently denied making such remarks.