MANILA — About 50 lawmakers have sent feelers to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte expressing support on his presidential bid, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said on Tuesday.

“I can safely say that more or less 50 lawmakers have expressed willingness to support the presidential bid of Mayor Duterte and 40 percent of this number came from Mindanao,” Nograles added.

“Right now, I am not at liberty to disclose their names,” said Nograles, son of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr., adding that his colleagues secretly backing Duterte came from various political parties.

When asked how the support of his colleagues for Duterte was relayed, Nograles said it was expressed personally to him and through text and phone calls also to him and the mayor himself.

Nograles, who attended the weekly news forum Ugnayan sa Batasan, said Duterte authorized him to negotiate in behalf of him to get possible politician-supporters, but with caution to guarantee that all “recruits” should understand and agree with his “tough style” of leadership.

Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, has expressed willingness to support Duterte in his facebook account.

Nograles also expressed hope that Duterte can sustain his good numbers after topping the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) nationwide survey with 38 percent, followed by Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay with identical 21 percent each, while the ruling Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas received 15 percent and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago got 4 percent.

Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano said he is against the tough style of Duterte who admitted during previous media interviews of killing criminals.

“It depends on the people kung sino ang gusto nila, sa akin dapat may matibay na leader at may political will. I don’t agree that we should kill and I value human rights and human life. Assuming na nagkamali sa batas, ayokong may natutumba na walang proseso,” Alejano, a former marine captain, stressed, adding he already heard stories of extra-judicial killings in Davao when he was assigned there during his military career. Sammy F. Martin/PNA