SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday declared her full support for the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) senatorial slate of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
“All out, all out,” Arroyo said about her commitment to the HNP candidates following yesterday’s campaign kickoff in vote-rich Pampanga.
The HNP candidates are re-electionist Sens. Sonny Angara, Cynthia Villar, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, former journalist Jiggy Manicad, Pia Cayetano, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., former political adviser Francis Tolentino, former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald Dela Rosa, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, and former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.
President Duterte has his own senatorial candidates namely Go, Tolentino, Mangudadatu, Dela Rosa, singer Freddie Aguilar, Angara, Villar, Marcos, Ejercito, Cayetano, Estrada and Pia Cayetano.
The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) fielded Dela Rosa, Go, Mangudadatu, Pimentel and Tolentino.
Arroyo thanked Mayor Sarah for launching the campaign of her team in Pampanga, recalling that her province ranked second in terms of biggest number of votes that then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte got outside of his bailiwick in Davao.
“Oh we’re very honored. We think it’s a recognition of the fact [that] in the last elections, the biggest majority of [votes] of Mayor Duterte outside his bailiwick was in Pampanga. We hope we can duplicate that,” said Arroyo.
The Speaker said she would join the team of Mayor Sarah in future schedules if needed.
“As needed only, not necessarily. I think they’re doing very well,” said Arroyo.
Mayor Sarah was an influential power broker that pushed Arroyo to the speakership following her tiff with then Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez of Davao del Norte.
She reiterated her plan to resume writing her memoirs as a matter of priority after deciding not to run in this year’s midterm polls.