DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 May) — President Rodrigo Duterte questioned the lineup of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) and Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL), collectively known as Hugpong Alliance, for lack of Moro and Lumad candidates running for the local council seats.
During the HNP-HTL Davao City District 1 Miting de Avance at the Davao City Recreation Center here on Friday, Duterte opened his speech by taking notice of the lack of Moro and Lumad candidates in the respective slate of the parties under the Hugpong Alliance.
“May I just ask? Ngano walay Moro nga kandidato? (Why is there no Moro candidate,” Duterte asked of the HnP, a regional party initiated by his daughter Sara, the city mayor.
Although he recognized Bai Halila Sudagar, former Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative at the City Council of Davao who is now running as councilor of the city’s 2nd District under HNP, Duterte went on to say that the Moro and Lumad should be given at least one or two spots in every slate for all three districts to give them a stronger voice in the local council.
He said the local parties should invite the Moro and Lumad to join their lineup to provide all sectors in the city a better representation in the local lawmaking body to prevent conflict that might arise due to exclusion of a sector in the community.
“The next time, I would invite you to basin naay usa ka Moro kada distrito first, second, third, ug ang mga Lumad tagai pud ninyo pod bisan usa duha, aron katibukan sa syudad sa Davao may tingog (there should be at least one Moro in every district – first, second, third – and also the Lumad, give them at least two, so that the entire Davao would have a voice),” he said.
Comprising three legislative districts, Davao City has 11 recognized tribes, comprising six Moro tribes (Tausug, Maguindanaon, Iranun, Kagan, Maranao, and Sama) and five Lumad tribes (Klata, Ata, Ubo Manuvo, Matigsalog, and Tagabawa).
The President told members of Hugpong Alliance that most of them had already been given the time to lead and, as such, they should also give that similar chance to the Moro and Lumad so that they would not feel oppressed.
“Niadto, atong pamulitika kinsa kinakusgan, kinsa moda ngari, moda ngadto (Before, our politics was dictated by those who are powerful, who will lead here, who will lead there). That was because we are trying to make, and organize Hugpong. Karon nga naa na ta sa poder halos, tagai ninyo og panahon ang atong kaigsoonang Moro, ang mga Lumad (Now that we are here, let’s give chance to our Moro and Lumad brothers),” he said.
Duterte also recognized the roles of the deputy mayors of the Davao’s 11 tribes.
“Kung dili sila mo-apil sa council at least naay mo insist mo, hung-hung nga sila dili pud malimtan. That is the idea of mao nang ingon nga no man is left behind (If they will not joint the council at least there is someone who will insist, who will whisper that they should not be left behind. That is the idea ‘no man is left behind’),” he said.
He acknowledged that all sectors should be given representation to prevent conflict stemming from being marginalized.
He said conflict would stifle the growth of the Davao. (Antonio L. Colina IV /MindaNews)