Hugpong ng Pagbabago stalwarts with Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, Senators Cynthia Villar, and JV Ejercito in a groupie following the oath-taking of new party members in Tagum City, Davao del Norte province on Friday. Lilian C Mellejor/PNA

6K-strong Davao Norte officials, backers join HNP

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte
-- Regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) continues to attract political leaders as 6,000 more officials and supporters took oath as its new members before Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio here on Friday.

After the mass oath-taking at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex here, Mayor Sara called on the new members to help the party "speak as one" in advancing the development of the region. Carpio-Duterte the is party's co-founder.

"Kung magkanya-kanya ta ang gagmay'ng munisipalidad dili na matagad (If each of us work independently the small municipalities will not be given attention)," the mayor told HNP's newest members.

Mayor Sara also asked the new members to back the senatorial bid of the Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Senators Cynthia Villar and JV Ejercito, Representative Zahid Mangudadatu of the second district Of Maguindanao, former Senator Pia Cayetano, former Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa, and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.

HNP is also set to hold mass oath-taking in Malita, Davao Occidental and Digos City, Davao del Sur, on Monday.

HNP stalwarts Duterte-Carpio, Governors Anthony del Rosario of Davao del Norte, Jayvee Tyron Uy of Compostela Valley, Claude Bautista of Davao Occidental and Nelson Dayanghirang of Davao Oriental said they are also set to forge alliance with six national and local parties on August 13.

 SAP Go, who thanked HNP's endorsement in an interview on the sidelines of the mass oath-taking, lauded the region's political leaders for their unity "to address the concerns and the needs of the people."

If he ever decides to seek public office, Go said he would be willing to run under the HNP, which wished to become a national political party.

Davao del Norte First District Rep. Tonyboy Floirendo, who was present during the mass oath-taking, said he looks forward to a stronger cooperation among local government leaders in the region "to develop strategies that are more responsive to the needs of the people."

"This way, we will be able to advance our support and fast-track the realization of our President’s programs that  will help in enhancing public welfare," Floirendo added. "Let us unify and join the process of pushing for change to create a more capable government." (Lilian C Mellejor/PNA)