Mayor Evelio Leonardia said his local party, Grupo Progreso, is preparing to host the campaign rally in Bacolod of the regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), headed by Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte on March 25.
Leonardia said that Mayor Sara informed him about the schedule as early as October, when she came to Bacolod during the MassKara Festival.
“As early as October, when Mayor Sara came for the MassKara (Festival), she already asked me for March 25. That’s five months ago, and when I came to Davao, she said the same thing,” he added.
The mayor said the Grupo Progreso is keeping in touch with the HNP Secretariat to finalize the arrangements for the alliance between the two parties.
Last Friday, Leonardia and his Grupo Progreso partymates, including Rep. Greg Gasataya and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, met with President Rodrigo Duterte at the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.
“For us that day, is something we can be proud of and we can be happy about. We were the only ones who were called to meet with him,” the mayor said.
Leonardia announced in February, after meeting with Mayor Sara at the Davao City Hall, that Grupo Progreso will form an alliance with the Davao-based regional party.
Mayor Sara, chairperson of HNP, endorsed him by raising his hand during his courtesy call.
Leonardia also said he assured the Davao City mayor of the full support of Grupo Progreso for the senatorial candidates endorsed by HNP.
The HNP is also expected to support the reelection bids of Leonardia’s partymates, including Gasataya and Familiaran, and the 12 candidates for councilor.
Both Leonardia and Gasataya are members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition while Familiaran is a member of PDP-Laban.
In southern Negros Occidental, the town of Isabela will host the HNP campaign rally on the same day, to be hosted by Isabela Mayor Joselito Malabor.* (Nanette Guadalquiver, NDB)