Candidates under Duterte family political parties dominate Davao City elections

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 Oct) – Local politicians running under the local and regional political parties of the Duterte family will rule the elections in Davao City on May 13, 2019.

At the end of filing of certificate of candidacies (COCs) at the Commission on Elections-Davao in Magsaysay Park on Wednesday, at least 35 out of 53 candidates for councilors and three out of five candidates for district representatives will run under the Hugpong Alliance.

The alliance came to being after Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) of presidential daughter and incumbent Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio joined forces with Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL), a local party of then mayor and now President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Resigned Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte heads HTL as its new president.

Carpio filed her COC on Monday with only one opponent, Magdaleno Marcellones, while Sebastian, the youngest son of the President with former wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, is running unopposed for vice mayor.

The former vice mayor had filed his candidacy for representative of the city’s first congressional district, a known bailiwick of the Nograles family, last October 12 under HTL. Incumbent first District Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles is now on his third and last term.

Two other candidates – Susana S. Uyanguren and Rex M. Labis – had also filed their COCs challenging Paolo for the position.

Meanwhile, former legislators Vincent D. Garcia and Isidro Ungab wanted to stage a comeback after they filed candidacies for congressional seats as representatives of the city’s District 2 and District 3, respectively. Both will run under HNP.

For the city council, 9 out of 18 candidates (8 HNP and 1 HTL) for councilors of the first district, 16 out of 22 candidates (8 HNP and 8 HTL) of the second district, and 10 (7 HNP, 3 HTL) out of 13 candidates of the third district are running under the Hugpong Alliance.

Candidates will vie for eight seats per district.

Incumbent Councilor Melchor Jay Quitain Jr., spokesperson of the Hugpong Alliance, said in a press conference last October 15 that the alliance was expected because Carpio and her older brother, Paolo, are the heads of HNP and HTL.

Quitain, a lawyer, is himself a candidate for a seat in the city council under HNP.

For District 1, candidates for councilors under HNP are Edgar P. Ibuyan Jr., Bonifacio E. Militar, Nilo D. Abellera, Pilar C. Braga, J. Melchor B. Quitain Jr., Ma. Clara Belen S. Acosta, Richard B. Duterte, and Pamela A. Librado. Under HTL, there is only one candidate, Lyndon D. Banzon, while the independent candidates are Modesto B. Engoc Jr., Romulo C. Mamalias, Jessica M. Bonguyan, Leoniza C. Alfaro, Teofilo Y. Guino-o, Joel L. Landero, Ernesto N. Macasaet Jr., Ronar L. Liza, and Cristito B. Lazaro.

For District 2, candidates under HNP are incumbent councilors Danilo C. Dayanghirang, Diosdado Angelo R. Mahipus, IP mandatory representative to council Halila Y. Sudagar, Jonard C. Dayap, comebacking Louie John T. Bonguyan, Alain James L. Dureza, Augusto Javier Campos II, and Florence F. Alejandre; HTL candidates are Constancio S. Tiongco, Ma. Tisha Goldie Delvo, Dante L. Apostol, Richlyn J. Baguilod, Lyneth D. dela Calzada, Rene I. Estorpe, Roger T. Galido, and Ralph O. Abella; while the independent candidates are Regidor F. Cortez, Corazon A. Arche, Jonelito C. Bermudez Sr., Pedrito P. Salvador, Crispin C. Galang, and Ericson D. Batican.

For District 3, candidates for the city council under HNP are incumbent councilors Antoinette G. Principe, Conrado Balura, Mary Joselle D. Villafuerte, comebacking Myrna G. Dalodo-Ortiz and Jesus Joseph Zozobrado III, Bai Hundra Cassandra Dominique N. Advincula, and incumbent District 3 Representative Alberto T. Ungab; HTL candidates are Carmelo J. Clarion, Ramon M. Bargamento II, and Wilberto E. Al-ag. Other candidates are Ernesto V. Gerodias, Orlando T. Fulguerinas, and Luis M. Narisma.

The city has been ruled by the Dutertes for more than two decades.

The father of the Duterte siblings was mayor from 1988 to 1998, representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001, mayor from 2001 to 2010, vice mayor to his daughter-mayor from 2010 to 2013, and elected mayor for the seventh time in 2013 with son, Paolo, as vice mayor.

Carpio was elected as vice mayor from 2007 to 2010, mayor from 2010 to 2013, and elected again as mayor in 2016. She said she wants to seek reelection because of the projects she wants to implement but cannot be completed within a three-year term.

Her older brother, Paolo, served as barangay chair of Catalunan Grande in the city’s first district from 2007 to 2013, president of the Association Barangay Councils of Davao City from 2008 to 2013, vice mayor to his father from 2013 to 2016, and reelected in 2016.

He resigned on December 25, 2017, months after he and his brother-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio were dragged into the smuggling controversy as members of the so-called Davao Group, the group behind shabu shipment from China that arrived via the Manila International Container Terminal in Tondo, Manila May 16, 2017. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)