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Sotto: Tandem with Lacson more inclined to build alliances with Alvarez’s Reporma than Sara’s HNP

The tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III is more inclined to build alliances with Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma Party (Reporma) than Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the Senate chief said Thursday.

“We are imposed to entering alliances with Reporma and Aksyon Demokratiko kasi itong mga partidong ito walang bangga sa amin sa local [candidates]. Halos walang bangga lalo na sa mga congressional district,” Sotto told reporters in a virtual interview.

(We are imposed to entering alliances with Reporma and Aksyon Demokratiko because these parties have no conflict with our local candidates, especially at the congressional districts.)

Citing experiences from the Nationalist People’s Coalition’s campaigns, Sotto said they are being careful in building coalitions and alliances with other political parties as some of them are not honoring the “equity of the incumbent" especially in local elective posts.

“At this point, baka hindi feasible [ang alliance with HNP] kasi kailangan pag-usapan muna namin kung sakali kasi ang Reporma, malakas doon sa lugar ng Region 11 e. Paano kami mag-alliance don [HNP] e di may bangga kagad sa Reporma. Maraming kandidato ang Reporma sa Region 11 e. Ang national party namin mababangga ng local parties so mahirap,” Sotto told reporters when asked if there is a possibility for their tandem to build alliances with HNP.

(At this point, it may not be feasible to build an alliance with HNP but we need to talk about it first. Reporma has the support from people in Region 11. How can we build an alliance with HNP? That would be in conflict with our alliance with Reporma. Our national party might have differences with other local parties.)

Reporma is led by ex-Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez while HNP is chaired by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who is herself rumored to be seeking the presidency in 2022.

To recall, Sara was reportedly instrumental in the ouster of then-Speaker Alvarez in July 2018 on the day of President Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA). Sara had refused to comment on the matter.

Alvarez was ousted five months after Sara, via her Instagram account, called out Alvarez for supposedly being arrogant and bragging that he—as Speaker of the House—can unseat President Duterte. He was replaced by former president and former Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In November 2020, Alvarez resigned as secretary-general of PDP-Laban and joined former Defense Secretary Renato de Villa to lead as chairman and revive Reporma, a non-mainstream party with no affiliation from any personality who might seek the presidency.

Apart from HNP, Sotto also said they are not keen to joining forces with big political parties such as PDP-Laban, Liberal Party, and the Nacionalista Party.

“We’ve had differences in the past pagdating sa local. Pinapalabanan nila kami e. ‘Yung sa equity of the incumbent di nasusunod e. Nagkaron kami ng ganyang experience sa PDP Laban, sa LP, sa NP,” he said.

(They have fielded candidates against our candidates despite our coalition. They are not honoring the equity of the incumbent. We had those experiences with PDP-Laban, LP, and NP.)

“Doon sa HNP wala pa kaming experience pero hindi namin problema kasi it’s a local party, it’s not a national party. So, hindi useful sa amin ang alliance or coalitin doon. Local party ‘yon e,” he said. 

(We have no experiences yet with HNP but it’s not a problem for us because it is a local party, it’s not a national party. So, it is not useful for us to build an alliance or a coalition with them. They are a local party.) — RSJ, GMA News