Hugpong all out for Sara in presidential race

 Delon Porcalla

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MANILA, Philippines — The organization that has been persuading Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to join the May 2022 elections remains unfazed despite the categorical pronouncements of the President’s daughter that she is backing out from the presidential race.

In a statement over the weekend, the more than 10,000-strong Hugpong Para kay Sara (HPS) vowed to push through with its scheduled official launching today, and its supporters and chapter members nationwide will take their oath promising to support a Duterte candidacy.

“We will proceed with the HPS launching in spite of the recent pronouncement of Mayor Sara that she will not run for president because we still believe she is the most qualified to lead our nation for the next six years,” said Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera, the group’s spokesperson.

Herrera, Bagong Henerasyon party-list representative, said the launching aims at “providing research and support” to Mayor Duterte to help her decide to throw her hat into the presidential derby next year.

“We share a common aspiration – to effect true and lasting change for the country. We believe Mayor Sara is the perfect person with her personality and being confident, yet quiet and reserved but willing to fight and has a genuine commitment for the country,” she said partly in Filipino.

Over 10,000 new members and chapters of HPS in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other regions in the country as well as supporters abroad, including in the Middle East, Canada and the US, will pledge their loyalty to support and encourage Mayor Duterte to seek the presidency.

Anthony del Rosario, former Davao del Norte governor and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) secretary-general, said “Mayor Sara’s reluctance to run means she has discernment. This shows she is not a political opportunist.”

HPS – a citizens’ movement composed of professionals, academicians, legislators and marginalized sectors – has formed and established chapters across the country.

Herrera said the number of organizations and individuals in the country and overseas throwing their support for HPS have continued to increase, and chapters have already been established in the NCR, including those in San Juan, Pasig, Caloocan, Paranaque, Quezon City, Makati and Muntinlupa.

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