Roxas unfazed by allies’ support for Duterte

MANILA — They are free to choose whom to support in the elections, said Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas of his allies in Mindanao who turned their backs on him to support Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for presidency in 2016.

Unfazed by LP allies’ crossing over to the camp of Duterte, a smiling Roxas told reporters on Monday that the ruling party still has leaders loyal to him and the administration.

“Malaya naman ang bawat mamamayan na piliin kung sino at kanino sila papanig. OK naman ang lahat. Maraming balasa pa ito,” he said in an ambush interview at Payatas village, Quezon City.

Roxas said the party is not inclined to conduct a loyalty check.

“You know, hindi naman ito personality cult. Hindi ito para kay Mar Roxas o kay Leni Robredo, ako panatag kalooban ko na ang mga nagtitiwala sa Daang Matuwid, ang nagtitiwala sa ating mga prinsipyo na kayo ang boss, prinsipyo na kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap, prinsipyo na inclusive, consultative na pamunuan ay patuloy silang kabahagi ng ating Daang Matuwid Movement. Ang iba naman ay kung iba ang kanilang gustong pagkalooban ng tiwala ay OK naman lang, ‘yan ang demokrasya natin,” he said.

LP officials in Mindanao crossed party lines to support Duterte, pointing out that there is rarely a Mindanaoan in the presidential race.

Those who have abandoned Roxas’ party are Davao del Norte Governor and LP chair Rodolfo del Rosario and former Tagum City mayor Rey Uy. Del Rosario’s son Antonio Rafael is a close friend of Roxas.