Drilon: LP members in Mindanao still for Mar Roxas

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Mindanao politicians affiliated with the Liberal Party are not going to shift their allegiance from 2016 presidential bet Manuel Roxas II to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Monday.

In a radio interview, the veteran Iloilo politiko denied reports that some local officials in Mindanao are keen on supporting Duterte, a Mindanaoan, in next year’s polls.

“Kami po ay tumanggap ng liham mula sa aming mga kasamahan doon sa Mindanao, hindi daw totoo na naglilipatan. Of course, may ilang mga naka-commit noon, pero iyan naman ay hindi naman parang ang impression ay trak-trak ang naglilipatan, hindi po totoo iyan,” Drilon told radio dzRH.

The LP vice chairman said Duterte’s entry into the race will only encourage them to campaign hard for Roxas, whose is lagging behind in surveys.

Peter Laviña, designated spokesperson for Duterte, said in a report by Sun.Star Davao on Monday that 80 percent of leaders of Mindanao will back the mayor “although most will do it covertly.”

“We fully understand their predicament not to earn ire of the Palace. We do not really mind if these politicians go with Mar, Vice President Jejomar Binay or Senator Grace Poe for as long as their constituents are with Rody (Duterte). The rabid ones who will attack Rody will on the other hand face the wrath of the people,” Laviña said.

“In Visayas and Luzon, we believe most of voters will go for Rody even if the politicians are with other camps. The OFW voters are overwhelmingly for Rody. If there is no cheating, it is not impossible for Rody to set a record to be a majority president,” he added.

Duterte only filed his certificate of candidacy for president last week following months of hesitation.

He will be running with Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, who actively courted him to seek the presidency.