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Several Mindanao LP stalwarts abandon Roxas in favor of Duterte

/ 02:50 PM November 28, 2015
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Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

TAGUM CITY—Several Liberal Party (LP) stalwarts in Mindanao have decided to abandon the presidential bid of Mar Roxas in favor of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, a local official said.

Former Mayor Rey Uy, who chairs the LP here, said he and his partymates have decided to cross party lines in support of the presidential bid of Duterte.

“We’re throwing our support to the candidacy of Mayor Duterte as this is a once-in-a-blue moon opportunity that a Mindanaoan is running for the presidency,” Uy said.

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The 59-year old veteran politician, who is aiming for another term as Tagum mayor in the 2016 elections, said local politics would become “like chop suey,” because more candidates under various political parties would be jumping ship to Duterte’s side, who is running under the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Uy said their support for Duterte did not mean that they were also abandoning the LP although they would be campaigning for the mayor instead of Roxas.

“(LP) still has vice presidential and senatorial candidates to campaign for here,” Uy told the Inquirer. “We will try our best to make Roxas the second best after Digong (Duterte’s nickname).”

Uy admitted though that Roxas was a hard sell.

“No matter how we campaign for Roxas, the people would still go for Duterte. We should consider that reality,” Uy, whose brother, Arturo Uy, is the governor and LP chief in neighboring Compostela Valley.

Re-electionist Allan Rellon, Uy’s rival, said he will also be campaigning for Duterte, his partymate in PDP-Laban.

With Duterte’s Malacanang bid now officially on, candidates in Davao del Norte have also decided to set aside their differences to rally behind the mayor’s platform of change in government, federalism and the issue on corruption, drugs and crime.

READ: Duterte makes presidential bid official, files COC

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Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, LP Davao del Norte chair, had said in previous interviews that he would support Duterte if the Davao City mayor would seek the highest office, although his son, gubernatorial bet and incumbent Representative Antonio Rafael del Rosario, is a close friend of Roxas.

In Davao del Norte, many members of the LP also signified their support to Duterte, he said.

Former Davao del Norte Representative Antonio Floirendo Jr. said he was also solidly behind Duterte’s candidacy even if he was a known supporter of Vice President Jejomar Binay in previous elections.

Floirendo, considered one of Davao del Norte’s political kingmakers, said Duterte was a brother to him. “I will go all out for him,” he further said.

Peter Laviña, Duterte’s spokesperson, said they had expected a large number of Mindanao politicians supporting Duterte’s presidential bid even if they belong to other parties.

“(Maybe) as high as 80 percent of Mindanao leaders will go for Rody although most of them will be covertly doing it. We fully-understood their predicament and we don’t want them to earn the ire of the Palace,” Laviña said.

Laviña added that they were projecting the same scenario to happen in Luzon and the Visayas.

“In the Visayas and Luzon, we believe most of voters will go for Rody even if the politicians are with other camps. The OFW (overseas Filipino worker) voters are overwhelmingly for Rody. If there is no cheating, it is possible for Rody to set a record to be a majority president,” he said. RAM

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TAGS: Davao City, Elections 2016, Liberal Party, LP, Mar Roxas, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Mindanao, Presidential bid, stalwarts
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