Davao del Norte Governor Anthony “AGR” Garcia del Rosario said Davao City Mayor Sara “Inday” Duterte wants Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP) to grab all Davao Region electoral posts at stake in the 2019 mid-term elections.
The HNP, organized by presidential daughter Mayor Duterte along with governors of the Davao Region, is fielding full slates in the local elections in Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.
AGR, the Davao del Norte chairman of the HNP, said on top of the shooting range of the HNP, which is chaired by Mayor Duterte, is Davao del Norte First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
AGR is not seeking re-election for governor and will instead contest the re-election of the former House of Representatives Speaker Alvarez, a once political ally turned nemesis.
Mayor Sara wants a sweep and will be giving full support to all candidates of the HNP, AGR told Al Genoguin in a phone interview in the brodcaster’s morning radio program Kontra Balanse on Davao City-based DXOW on Wednesday.
In Davao del Norte, the AGR-led HNP will battle it out with Alvarez and the Alvarez Wing, a local political bloc formed by Alvarez as an adjunct to Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban). Alvarez is the secretary general of PDP/Laban.
In the face-off with Alvarez, AGR will have full backing of Mayor Duterte and cousin Second District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr., who is also seeking re-election.
Mayor Duterte has vowed to campaign against Alvarez after the then sitting Speaker called HNP as an opposition party and without the blessing of President Rodrigo Duterte, after HNP was formed in early July this year.
Describing Alvarez as an “ashole and a liability to the administration of his father, Mayor Duterte had called on congressmen to replace Alvarez as Speaker. Mayor Duterte is said to have played key role in the July 23 ouster of Alvarez, who was replaced by former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Floirendo, on the other hand, has an axe, nay a chaisaw, to grind against his former political ally and long-time friend. The Davao del Norte legislators supported the 2016 presidential campaign of President Duterte, with Floirendo chipping in P70 million to his campaign kitty.
The friendship between Floirendo was shattered after their girlfriends quarreled in public during a festival event in Bacolod City in 2016.
Although Alvarez publicly admitted that Floirendo and AGR’s father, former governor Rodolfo “Dolfo” del Rosario, politically and financially helped him win his Congress seat in the 2016 polls, Alvarez as the sitting Speaker made hell out of the life of his former buddy.
Following their girlfriends’ quarrel, Alvarez filed a graft case against Floirendo in the Ombudsman and initiated a House inquiry into the Floirendo-owned banana producing-giant Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco).
Alvarez also kicked out Floirendo from membership in House committees and reportedly removed congressional appropriations for Floirendo’s Second District.