Hugpong ng Pagbabago forges alliance with Leyte's Romualdezes

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Tacloban City (CNN Philippines, November 7) — The Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio forged alliances Wednesday with the Romualdez-led partylist group Tingog Sinirangan and the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) in Eastern Visayas.

Their alliance was sealed in a program held at the Tacloban City Convention Center, attended by more than 6,000 participants coming from six provinces in Eastern Visayas.

Duterte, with Leyte 1st District Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez and former Leyte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, led the signing of the alliance agreement. The former congressman also serves as Lakas-CMD president and Tingog Sinirangan partylist chairperson emeritus.

Lakas-CMD previously said it eyes a coalition with Duterte's regional party.

Mayor Duterte-Carpio, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been busy forging alliances with local and national parties ahead of the 2019 polls, following the ouster of her father's key ally, Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, as House Speaker, which she reportedly engineered.

Prior to this, HNP inked an alliance agreement with the Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People's Coalition and National Unity Party, along with six local parties.

Former Rep. Romualdez is seeking to take back the congressional seat of Leyte's 1st District in the May 2019 polls, while his wife Yedda would run as the first nominee of Tingog Sinirangan.

As their party and HNP are already aligned in principles, the inking of the deal between them is just for formality, Ferdinand said.

Asked why she forged alliances with the Romualdezes, Duterte-Carpio said it aims to help the candidacy of the Senate bets endorsed by her regional party.

Among the senatorial candidates endorsed by HNP who were present for the signing of the alliance agreement in Tacloban are Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, Harry Roque, doctor Willie Ong, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangundadatu, former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, while Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado represented her husband, former Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr.

Senator JV Ejercito is in the same HNP-backed slate with his estranged half-brother, Estrada, but failed to grace the event. Estrada said he was expecting to meet him at the inking of the alliance agreement.