Sara Duterte's party to back Cynthia Villar, Imee Marcos Senate bid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 13) — Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio's regional party will back Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and re-electionist Senator Cynthia Villar in their Senate bid next year.

The announcement was made by Davao del Norte Mayor Anthony del Rosario, who is also Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) secretary general, when HNP signed alliances with three national and six local political parties on Monday.

In particular, HNP joined forces with the Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), and National Unity Party (NUP).

The alliance has two aims: the ensure continued support for President Rodrigo Duterte's administration, and support the candidacy of eight senators.

The party maintained Duterte-Carpio would not run for the Senate, and seek re-election instead.

It is expecting to announce its other senatorial bets in the coming days.

Apart from the Marcoses' Ilocos-based local party, HNP is also teaming up with parties from Bohol, Misamis Oriental, and Zamboanga del Norte. The parties of Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda and Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte are also joining the alliance.

"Sinabi po ng aking mayor, si Mayor Herbert Bautista na ibulong ko daw sa iyo na ikaw ang crush niya," Belmonte joked to Duterte-Carpio.

[Translation: My mayor, Mayor Herbert Bautista, said to whisper to you that he has a crush on you.]

Del Rosario declined to comment on whether the President would endorse HNP's candidates. However, he is expected to attend the oathtaking of the new members this coming Friday in Davao City.

The older Duterte is a member of PDP-Laban, which is fielding its own set of bets.

Local officials from areas badly affected by the weekend flooding were also present -- prompting Duterte-Carpio to apologize. She also announced that she raised P1 million each for Quezon City and Pampanga for relief operations.

"Ok talaga pag may ka-alyansa, puwede pahingi dyan ng 250,000, puwede pahingi ng [200,000], hanggang umabot tayo sa isang milyon," she said. "I'd like to thank our alliance partners for your support."

(Translation: Having alliances is really good. You can ask for 250,000 here, 200,000 there, until we reach a million.)

HNP is also hoping to coalesce with the ruling party of PDP-Laban, but it is still waiting for the latter to resolve its internal problems. PDP-Laban is split in two factions, after a group of members held their own elections without being sanctioned by the party leaders.

Duterte-Carpio announced that her regional party is ready to form alliances in July. House Majority Leader Nonoy Andaya previously said Lakas-CMD, the home party of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, might team up with HNP. Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said the ruling party PDP-Laban might also enter into a coalition with HNP.

Last week, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also joined the party — even though he is a registered voter in Quezon City. HNP rules require its members to be registered in the Davao region.

Earlier this month, Senator Ping Lacson said Duterte-Carpio was a top pick for a next leader, although he previously condemned her hand in the ouster of former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Her coalition could become a political powerhouse -- pushing opposition parties to close ranks for 2019.

CNN Philippines Correspondent David Santos contributed to this report.