MANILA – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and some senatorial candidates under the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) defied security concerns as they went deep into the country’s south which has long been plagued by conflict.
Duterte-Carpio and HNP senatorial bets barnstormed Jolo, Sulu, which was was the site of twin blasts in January which left at least 20 dead. HNP also wooed voters in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
Duterte-Carpio said the HNP pursued its sortie in the two small provinces because the party aims to reach out to as many areas as possible. The HNP, with its massive resources, has been going around the country since the election campaign season started.
“Gusto din natin ma-meet nila at madinig nila ang plano ng ating mga candidates kung sakaling sila yung pipiliin nila at manalo at gusto natin sila mapalapit,” Duterte-Carpio told reporters on the sidelines of HNP’s campaign sortie in Jolo.
(We want the residents to meet our candidates so they can hear their plans should they win.)
Duterte-Carpio, as the president's daughter, is heavily guarded by members of the Presidential Security Group. She however said the party did not want security concerns to hinder its campaign in the far-flung provinces.
“Sa Sulu naman sa tingin ko naman iyung mga tao is very welcoming sa mga candidates. Feeling ko din sabik sila na makakita ng mga candidates,” she said.
(In Sulu I felt the people were very welcoming to our candidates. I felt that they were excited to meet our candidates.)
“For the last months medyo tahimik and relatively peaceful naman ang Sulu, and other parts of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.”
(For the last months, it was quiet and relatively peaceful in Sulu and other parts of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.)
The Davao City mayor was accompanied by senatorial bets, former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino and former police chief Ronald dela Rosa in Sulu. Reelectionist Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito was with them in the Tawi-Tawi sortie.