Philippines

Hugpong ng Pagbabago adds Roque, dela Rosa to list of ‘senatoriables’

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Hugpong ng Pagbabago adds Roque, dela Rosa to list of ‘senatoriables’
By Lilian Mellejor

MALITA, Davao Occidental (Philippines News Agency) – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa may be unsure of running in the 2019 elections, but they were nonetheless endorsed by the regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), in its potential Senatorial slate.

Roque joined close to 2,000 local and barangay officials of Davao Occidental in the mass oath-taking officiated by HNP founding chairperson Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Z. Duterte here Monday.

In a speech following the mass oath-taking, Roque highlighted the pro-poor programs of President Rodrigo Duterte, such as the free tuition in state universities, free irrigation for farmers that has so far covered 8,000 hectares of farmlands, the feeding program for children, free public wifi, universal health care, and the continued campaign against corruption and illegal drugs.

He lauded the HNP and thanked the party for inviting him to the mass oath-taking, though he clarified that he has no plan yet whether or not to return to politics as a lawmaker.

Dela Rosa, for the first time, appeared at the HNP mass-oath-taking activity here, which was carved out of his home province Davao del Sur.

The former PNP chief said he is not sure if he would seek public office, although local officials said dela Rosa has been eyeing Davao del Sur’s gubernatorial seat. One thing was certain, dela Rosa said, that if ever he decides to run for senator or governor, he would still seek HNP’s support.

Aside from Roque and dela Rosa, HNP has also declared its support for the possible senatorial run of Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu of the 2nd District of Maguindanao, senators JV Ejercito and Cynthia Villar, and former senator Pia Cayetano.

Mayor Sara made it clear that the slate consists only of potential candidates, and that the party will come up with a definitive list before the October filing of the certificates of candidacy.

She said the HNP considers the track record of the officials and support to the programs and objectives of HNP as bases for its endorsement of their possible run for the Senate. (PNA)

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