(Did Sara really endorse Celso?) HNP Political Officer claims otherwise... PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 November 2018 14:09

An officer of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) expressed doubts on the reported endorsement by Davao Mayor Sara Duterte of Zamboanga Representative Celso Lobregat which allegedly happened at a restaurant in Quezon City last week.

A story published by the Philippine News Agency, the official government website, reports a statement made by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) Political Officer Jeffrey Tupas advising candidates not to assume that they have been endorsed by Mayor Sara Duterte unless “explicitly stated.”

The PNA story, entitled “HNP officer clarifies endorsement of local candidates,” was published last Tuesday.

Based on the report, Tupas issued the statement “amid a flurry of claims” made by candidates that they have secured the endorsement of Mayor Duterte.

The report mentions Zamboanga Representative Lobregat  as one such candidate who, during a press conference, announced to Zamboanga media that he had been endorsed by Mayor Duterte as Mayoralty Candidate in Zamboanga City.

The endorsement reportedly happened during a meeting at a Quezon City restaurant last November 9.

Lobregat also showed a photo of him and Mayor Duterte with raised hands, an act to signify the latter’s endorsement.  The story and photo were published in Zamboanga’s major dailies.

‘“ I don’t know how a photo can be misconstrued as an endorsement.  I believe until it was and explicitly stated that HNP or Mayor Sara has endorsed a candidate can we really say an endorsement has been made,”’ said Tupas in the report.

According to the PNA report, “Tupas said he can’t recall that Sara endorsed Lobregat, and that the lawmaker may have made too much out of the photo opportunity.”

The report also said that so far, the HNP has openly endorsed fourteen (14) senatorial candidates and that the regional party is also backing candidacies of local officials whose local parties have a formal alliance with the HNP. (MLAJ)