Members of Presidential Daughter and City Mayor Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) have formed the Duterte Coalition, hoping “to unite” the House of Representatives when the 18th Congress officially starts on July 22.
The “Duterte Coalition” is composed of representatives who ran under the HNP and Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL) in the last elections.
Members of the Duterte Coalition include Paolo Duterte (Davao City, first district), Vincent Garcia (Davao City, second district), Isidro Ungab (Davao City, third district), Corazon Malanyaon (Davao Oriental, first district), Manuel Zamora (Compostela Valley, first district), Lorna Bautista (Davao Occidental), Rep. Claudine Bautista (Dumper Partylist), Rep. Sandro Gonzales (Marino Partylist) and Rep. Anton Lopez.(Marino Partylist).
In a statement, the HNP said the Duterte Coalition is “a strategic partnership of dynamic public servants who are committed to institute governance and development reforms that are necessary for the Philippines to secure its rightful place in the world stage of nations, particularly in the Southeast Asian region.”
“We have created the Duterte Coalition and we wish to invite everyone to join this group of lawmakers who believe in positive change,” the statement read.
“We shall not serve one interest, we will work for all Filipinos,” the HNP’s statement read.
The statement came after HNP chair Mayor Duterte shunned the supposed term-sharing deal being pushed by aspiring speaker, Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, to finally resolve the leadership row in the House of Representatives.
“(The term-sharing) is counterproductive. It will slow down the last three years of the administration of President Duterte,” a statement from HNP said.
The term-sharing situation will bring “the House of Representatives to a rack of unseating the incumbent Speaker, deceit, dissent and distrust.”
“We do not know why the term sharing influencers do not seem to care what will happen to the House. They just want to install a Speaker and do not think about what comes after,” it said.
In protest to the proposed term-sharing scheme, Rep. Duterte initially signified his interest to run for Speaker despite his earlier statement not to join in the race.
But HNP announced it is endorsing Rep. Ungab for the Speakership post.
The coalition also made a “special call” to the three primary contenders for the House leadership – Cayentano, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez – to become partners.
The group also urged certain Cabinet members not to put their hands in the Speakership issue.
“It has come to our attention that certain Presidential Cabinet members have their bet for Speaker. Everyone should note that, Cabinet members serve only on the basis of the trust and confidence of the President and should not participate in the selection of the Speaker,” the joint statement from HNP and HTL released Friday said.
It also explained that with House members having authority direct from the people, they are the only rightful electorate for their leader.
“Let us draw the line to define the independence of the Executive and the Legislative branches of the government,” it said.