The citizens movement Hugpong Para kay Sara (HPS) was launched Monday, Sept. 13 to call on Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run for president and appeal to her father, President Rodrigo Duterte to give up his plan to seek the vice presidency.
Behind the newly-organized group are House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and a number of House members who joined forces with the city mayor’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago and local leaders.
HPS President Allan Yap said they are convinced that Mayor Duterte is the most qualified person to takeover the post that her father will vacate in 2022.
“Hangarin ng HPS ay ituloy ang tama, punan ang kulang at ituwid ang mali (HPS’ goals are to continue with what is right, fill up what is lacking and correct what is wrong),” Yap said.
Former Davao del Norte Gov. and HPS chairman Anthony del Rosario said urging Mayor Duterte to run is not the only current objective of the new organization.
“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,” he told a virtual press conference that followed the HPS launch.
President Duterte’s decision to run for president next year has been pointed to as the reason why Mayor Duterte announced last week that she is no longer gunning for the presidency in 2022.
The city mayor has said that only one Duterte must run for a national office.
“We respect her for the statement that she made. While we respect her decisioin not to run, we at the same time believe that she is the right person for the job,” stated Del Rosario, also HNP secretary general and spokesman.
Citing recent poll surveys for the presidency, Del Rosario said the city mayor has consistently made it on top of the possible presidential candidates for 2022.
“Kaya siya malakas (The reason she is strong) is because of her father. Maganda ang programang naumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte (President Duterte started a good program) five years ago. That is the reason why Mayor Sara tops the surveys time and time again,” he added.
Quezon City civic leader Robert Nazal has been chosen as HPS vice chairman. He aired the confidence that only Mayor Duterte is capable of bring about “true and lasting change” among the possible presidential candidates.
“The movement believes that Mayor Sara is the most qualified to effectively continue the good programs that her father has started,” said Nazal.
Speaker Velasco is the president emeritus of the HPS which also has his wife, Wen, as an executive officer.
Velasco remains an officer of the PDP-Laban (Cusi wing) party that recently approved the nomination of President Duterte as its vice presidential bet for 2022.
Showing up during the program were Deputy Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera and Abra Rep. Joseph Bernos, HPS secretary general and vice president, respectively.