MINDANAOANS ALL-OUT FOR RODY
BY ROGER M, BALANZA
It may be an exaggeration but Mindanaoans are ready to rise in a people power rebellion against their political leaders who will not support the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“Any Mindanao political leader who will campaign against Duterte in his area will face a revolt and upheaval from his own people,” said Bukidnon Governor Jose Zubiri.
Zubiri explains why there is intensity among Mindanaoans looking at Duterte sitting in Malacanang.
They see Duterte as their hope of getting the attention of the national government for the first time, said Zubiri supporter of Duterte.
But Zubiri also said Mindanaoans may not need to go through the hassle of pushing their leaders to the wall to force them to support a Duterte presidency.
The Duterte-for-President phenomenon has become a unifying factor for Mindanaoans.
The prospect of having a president from Mindanao is forcing political leaders to set aside their political differences and forge unlikely alliances in order to give their solid support to Duterte, said Zubiri.
Zubiri is a strong influence in Mindanao and is one of the prime movers of the campaign to shift to a federal form of governance. He belongs to the Council of Elders, a select group of Mindanao political leaders giving energy to Duterte’s Listening Tour, a series of speaking egagements and forum that has gone nationwide to sell the concept of Federalism.
The intense hope of Mindanaoans to see Duterte becoming President was shown recently after the release of a survey they said did not reflect the Mindanao sentiment.
Mindanao political leaders and supporters of Duterte snapped at the results of a survey showing Duterte getting only a 37 percent rating in Mindanao.
While Duterte bested other candidates in the Pulse Asia survey for presidential preference among respondents in Mindanao, the figure does not reflect the true sentiment of the Mindanaoans, Duterte’s supporters said.
The May 30-June 5 survey of Pulse Asia showed Duterte getting the nod of 37% of Mindanao voters. Vice President Jejomar Binay had 18%, former president Joseph Estrada got 16%, Senator Grace Poe got 15% and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas had 8% support.
Local political leaders believe that Duterte should garner 75 to 80 percent of the Mindanao votes.
They expect however that Duterte would fly to a steep rise in rating once he declares he is running for President.
The optimism is not only confined in Mindanao.
Political leaders and volunteers behind the Duterte-for-President movements that have sprouted all over the country also expect Duterte’s number to soar high once he make a positive declaration.
Duterte’s continued denial he is not running contributes to people not coming out to be counted, said the political leaders.
People are reluctant to openly express support for Mayor Duterte because he declares he is not running, said former Transportation Secretary Pantaleon Alvarez. Alvarez, also a former congressman representing Davao del Norte, is said to be one of Duterte’s politicl advisers.