DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 November) – Just hours after leaving Hugpong ng Pagbabago, the regional party she herself formed and led, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte joined Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) on Thursday in Cavite.
House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, president of Lakas-CMD, administered the oath-taking of the President’s daughter who earlier said that she was not running for any national position.
Mayor Sara’s decision to join the national party came two days after withdrawing her candidacy for reelection and nominating her brother, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, as her substitute.
The move fueled speculations that she had already changed her mind and would likely file her candidacy for president by November 15, the deadline for the substitution of candidates.
On Wednesday, Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez said the mayor could not run for any national position under Hugpong, and that she should join a national party so she could qualify as a substitute candidate for whoever filed a certificate of candidacy for a national post.
Jimenez explained that as a regional party, Hugpong is unable to field national candidates.
In a statement, Lakas-CMD chairperson Senator Bong Revilla, who was present during the oath-taking ceremony said they are more than honored that Mayor Sara chose Lakas-CMD as her national party.
“We have worked with Mayor Sara in the past, and in fact continue to be allies in coalition with her former local party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago. Mahaba na po ang kasaysayan ng Lakas sa paglilingkod-bayan. Our Christian-Muslim-Democratic principles have guided our members in the past three decades, and we continue to build a proud legacy for the country,” Revilla said.
Revilla added the party will rally behind the mayor and “assure her success and triumph, which will also be the success and triumph of the Party, of the nation, and of all Filipinos.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)