DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo R. Duterte called on local candidates and supporters to be on their toes after he steps down from the presidency in 2022, implying it could be a critical period when opponents might get back at him.
“Preparahan ninyo pagkahuman nako. (Be prepared when I am done with my term.) It will be critical after my presidency,” Duterte said during the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) - Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL) 1st District miting de avance at the Davao City Recreation Center here Friday night.
“Be on your toes,” he added, as he asked local candidates led by HNP founding chairperson, Mayor Sara Z. Duterte, to continue supporting one another.
Duterte founded HTL sometime in 2000 as a local political aggrupation, which was later registered as a local political party with the Commission on Elections. HNP and HTL entered an alliance last year.
The President hinted at possible retaliation by his opponents after 2022 because of his war on drugs and corruption.
“Sigurado balikan gyud ko nila. Sa balay na lang ko kay ako na pud ang ma DDS (For sure they will get back at me. I’ll just stay at home because I will be the next target of DDS),” he said in jest. The DDS stands for the Davao Death Squad, which he was accused of being behind.
Duterte recognizes Hugpong as the current political party forerunner, even in his presidential campaign because everybody helped.
“Uban lang ghapon ta (We will be in this together),” he said, addressing the local candidates and supporters.
The President also urged the local parties to include representations for the Indigenous Peoples and the Moro in the next selection of candidates so that they will carry the voice of the marginalized communities.
He suggested to the alliance to include one representation for each district.
In this year’s election, HNP has one candidate from the Moro community, Bai Halila Sudagar of the Kagan tribe. Sudagar is also currently sitting in the city council as a representative of the IPs on a holdover capacity.
The President emphasized on giving the IPs and the Moro people the opportunity to serve so that they would not feel that they are no more than puppets or lapdogs.
They should be given importance so they can express what is in their hearts. He said.
“They can only feel they are being marginalized kung wala silay tingog (if they do not have a voice),” he added.
He also asked Mayor Sara to maintain the Deputy Mayors representing each of the 11 tribes as her alter ego in the communities.
Give me my senatorial bets
Duterte went on to ask supporters to give him senators who would help his administration push for change and attain his goal in his war against illegal drugs and corruption.
“Taga-I ko og senador nga maoy among gipili (Give me my senators that I have chosen),” he said as he also welcomed new faces and the mixture of young candidates and old hands in politics in the slate.
Duterte strongly endorsed his former Special Assistant Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go; former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief
Ronald dela Rosa; Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Dong Mangudadatu, whom he trusted to help in peace and development efforts of his administration; former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino; and Senator Koko Pimentel for the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
He also endorsed non-PDP-Laban members – reelectionist senators JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara and Cynthia Villar; Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano; Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos; and folk singer Freddie Aguilar.
The President also supports former Interior secretary Rafael Alunan, who is running as an independent candidate. (PNA)
Photo by King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo/ABS-CBN News