By Yas Ocampo
DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will be calling the various factions of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP- Laban) to a caucus this week.
This was revealed by the Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, in an interview with reporters in Davao del Norte.
Go acts as interim auditor of PDP under a faction led by Senator Koko Pimentel.
“2016 pa ako napiling interim auditor ng PDP headed by Sen. Koko Pimentel. Ang party chairman po is then Mayor Duterte. Until now po kami pa rin po ang party officers. Plano po niyang ipapatawag ang magkaibang faction. Sana mapag-iisa ito ito at lalong palakasin ang partidong nagluklok sa kanya at tumulong sa presidency (I have been interim auditor of PDP, as headed by Sen. Koko Pimentel, since 2016. Our party chairman is then Mayor Duterte. We hope to reunite the whole party so that we could fortify the party that helped Duterte to win as present and continues to help the presidency),” Go said.
He also disclosed that the President and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio are facing an “identity crisis” in the homefront because there are now two major local parties vying for political power in the region.
It was with Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL) that the Dutertes ran under in their bids for local posts in Davao City.
Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), on the other hand, identifies itself as a regional party in Region 11 whose members pledge support for President Duterte’s governance agenda.
HNP is chaired by Mayor Duterte, and is now widely regarded as “the party to go to for would-be national candidates.”
Among the possible national candidates standing alongside most of the Region XI Governors are Senators JV Ejercito, Cynthia Villar, and Ilocos Governor Imee Marcos, among others.
Go said that while there were conversations between the leaders of both parties, there was little need to formally absorb one party into the other.
“Almost kumbaga ang Hugpong ng Pagbabago at Hugpong ng Taong-Lungsod, magkamag-anak na ‘yang dalawang partido. Anak na ‘yan. Hindi na po kailangan talaga ng formal alliance. I think it is one already,” Go, the right hand man of President Duterte even during his time as Mayor, said.
Mayor Duterte had earlier said that the regional and local parties were still reconciling issues on the need for existing members of HTL to also join the HNP. Both parties are still deciding, Go said.
“‘Yun kasi registered, local party. Sana hopefully soon ay maging isa na po ito at sa pagkakaalam ko po magkakaroon ng oathtaking na inihanda ang ating mahal na si Mayor Inday Sara para sa Hugpong. The President will also participate,” he said.