Mar not affected by allies leaving LP for Duterte

President Benigno S. Aquino III with Liberal Party  (LP) standard bearers Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo are greeted by supporters outside the Manila Cathedral as they walk to Commission on Election  building  to file their Certificate of Candidacy, Thursday, (October 15). Tomorrow, Friday, (October 16)  is the deadline of filing of candidacy for the 2016 elections. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III with Liberal Party (LP) standard bearers Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo are greeted by supporters outside the Manila Cathedral as they walk to Commission on Election building to file their Certificate of Candidacy, Thursday, (October 15). Tomorrow, Friday, (October 16) is the deadline of filing of candidacy for the 2016 elections. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Nov 30 (Mabuhay) – Presidential candidate Mar Roxas on Monday said Liberal Party (LP) members are free to choose who they will support in the May 2016 elections.

“Malaya naman ang bawat mamamayan na piliin kung sino at kanino sila papanig so okay naman ang lahat,” Roxas told reporters after the inauguration of the Bistekville 1 Multi-Purpose Hall in Payatas, Quezon City.

The former Interior secretary made the statement amid reports that some LP members have “jumped ship” to support the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Roxas also said that there was no need to conduct a loyalty check among members of the LP, adding that they have loyal leaders, particularly in Mindanao.

“Hindi naman ito personality-cult e. Hindi naman ito para kay Mar Roxas, kay Leni Robredo. Ako panatag ang kalooban ko na ang mga nagtitiwala sa daang matuwid, nagtitiwala sa ating prinsipyo na kayo ang boss, prinsipyo na kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap, prinsipyo na inclusive, consultative  na pamunuan ay patuloy silang kabahagi ng daang matuwid movement,” he said.

He reiterated that their members and the public are free to choose their candidate.

“Yung iba naman ay kung iba ang kanilang gustong pagkalooban ng tiwala okay naman, yun ang demokrasya natin,” Roxas said.

At the inauguration, Roxas announced that he will create a P100-billion “Walang Iwanan Fund” if he becomes the country’s next president.

“May ilulunsad tayo na Walang Iwanan fund para walang maiiwanan sa pag-unlad. P100 billion ang halaga nito,” Roxas said in his speech, adding that the fund will be replenished annually.

He added that the fund will be distributed to local government units and that its allocation would depend on the population of an area.

“Idadaan yan sa inyong mayor, konseho. Ang magpapasya kung saan gagastusin ‘yan ay kayo dahil kayo ang boss,” he added.

No exodus

Senate President Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, denied the supposed exodus of LP members throwing their support to Duterte.

“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,” he said in a radio interview.

He added that it is but normal for people from Mindanao to support Duterte.

“Natural po iyan, sa Davao lalo, dahilan po, siyempre naghihintay sila noon na magdesisyon si Mayor Digong, kung ano ang kanyang pagpapasya,” he said.

“Yung ganoong klaseng impresyon na may exodus ay hindi po totoo iyan. May mga natatanggap po kaming mga liham, mula sa lugar tulad ng Compostela Valley, na sila pa rin po ay patuloy na sumusuporta kay Secretary Mar Roxas,” he added.

Asked if they will intensify their campaign in Mindanao because of Duterte’s entry to the presidential race, Drilon said southern Philippines is one of their priorities even before the Davao City mayor decided to join the presidential race.

“Mayroon mang ganitong development o wala, talagang mangangampanya nang husto ang Liberal Party sa Mindanao,” he said.(MNS)

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