MANILA, Philippines – Is the PDP-Laban of President Rodrigo Duterte imploding?
Akbayan party-list Representative Tom Villarin said this could be one of the implications of the formation of a regional political party by the President’s daughter, Davao Mayor Sarah Duterte, who recently launched a group called Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP, or Alliance for Change).
“All these alleged destabilization moves, so-called coup attempts are just figment of their imagination. The real problem they are facing is implosion,” he said in a news conference.
“PDP-Laban has ballooned overnight pero hindi naman natin alam kung saan ang loyalty [but we don’t know where people’s loyalty is] in the end,” he added.
Villarin noted that HNP was organized without Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who is also PDP-Laban’s secretary general and who hails from Davao.
“Ano’ng ibig sabihin n’yan? Ibig sabihin, they’re looking for a fallback because the thrust of Speaker Alvarez is very divisive. In fact, allies of the Duterte administration are looking for alternatives. Perhaps, this move of Mayor Duterte is to keep them away from the Speaker’s push for charter change and constituent assembly, which are being rejected by the people,” he said.
The partylist lawmaker also surmised that the formation of the regional party was in preparation of Sarah Duterte’s possible run for a congressional seat.
“Kung magko-Congress ka, where does that lead to, that means you can get the Speaker of the House position,” Villarin said.
Reports said Sarah Duterte’s HNP party are being supported by four of five provincial governors in Davao Region – Antonio Rafael del Rosario of Davao del Norte, Claude Bautista of Davao Occidental, Nelson Dayanghirang of Davao Oriental and Jayvee Tyron Uy of Compostela Valley.
Alvarez, meanwhile, has been going around the country the past months to officiate the oath taking of new PDP-Laban members. This week, he will be in Zambales and Zamboanga.