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Davao City, Philippines

Davaoeños rally behind Hugpong ng Pagbabago Senate bets

May 10, 2019 - Friday 2:05 PM by Ayan Mellejor

Article Banner Image A huge crowd gathers at the last campaign rally of Senate candidates supported by the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) at the San Pedro Square on Thursday. ARJOY . CENIZA

DAVAO CITY – Thousands of Davaoeños rallied behind the 13 senatorial candidates strongly supported by the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) at the San Pedro Square on Thursday.

Many people who could no longer be accommodated inside the big tent braved the heavy rain outside and did not leave the area until the last hour of the 2019 Campaign Caravan for Senators, which ended at 9 p.m.

The 13 senatorial candidates -- former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa, Maguindanao’s second district Rep. Dong Mangudadatu, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano, JV Ejercito, Bong Revilla, Imee Marcos, Koko Pimentel, Sonny Angara, Jiggy Manicad and Jinggoy Estrada -- took turns in addressing the crowd.

They thanked Mayor Sara Duterte, who served as their campaign manager, for her strong support during the 90-day campaign period.

They also reminded Davaeños not to vote for the entire HNP slate of 13 but only 12, as it will make their votes for the senators invalid.

Kamo na ang bahala kung kinsa inyong iboto (It is up to you whom to vote for among us),” dela Rosa said.

Pimentel said he sees a close fight among the 62 candidates running for senator.

He said the HNP candidates tried to reach out to the 91 million people in 80 provinces but the 90-day campaign is short.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who was scheduled to speak at the rally at 8 p.m, skipped the event but the candidates were still thankful for his support even when he was still the mayor of this city.

Mayor Sara told the crowd that the President was no longer coming and apologized for skipping the event.

Sara said the President was watching the livestream of the rally and has asked Davaeños to vote for 12 senators on Monday.

“The President apologized but he is watching us through livestream. He asks you to vote for the 12 senators on Monday,” Sara said, relaying her father’s message.

Also present during the rally were House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, HNP stalwarts Governors Claude Bautista of Davao Occidental, Anthony del Rosario of Davao del Norte, and Jayvee Tyron Uy of Compostela Valley, and local candidates of Davao City led by first district congressional candidate Paolo Duterte and vice mayoral candidate Sebastian Duterte.

HNP is backing party-lists DUMPER with first nominee Claudine Bautista, KASOSYO with Mocha Uson, MARINO, Ako an Bisaya, PBA with Jericho Nograles, and Duterte Youth.