MANILA, Philippines — If elected to the presidency this May 9 elections, PDP-Laban standard bearer Rodrigo Duterte vowed a campaign of peace during his six-year administration.
“If I win, I will talk to the rebel groups — the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Moro National Liberation Front, and the New People’s Army,” he said.
As this develops, the politically influential Zubiri family of Bukidnon has endorsed Duterte’s presidential bid.
The announcement was made Friday by Zubiri patriarch Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri before thousands of people who joined the annual Kaamulan Festival.
The decision to support Duterte was reached after a series of consultations with local officials and their constituents.
“This is the mandate of the people of Bukidnon,” he said.
Duterte thanked Zubiri and the people of Bukidnon for their support.
Two weeks ago, Zubiri called for a conference with local officials with the primary objective of getting a consensus on who to support in the May elections.
Over 5,200 local officials attended the conference, with 68 percent of them expressing their strong support for Duterte’s candidacy.
One of the reasons cited was Duterte’s agenda of real change, according to Zubiri.
“We are supporting him despite the fact that he doesn’t have the machinery or funds — unlike the other candidates,” he said.
Zubiri said they understand that the lack of funds is because of Duterte’s principled rejection of help from known political funders.
“He doesn’t want to ask favors from billionaires in Manila and we get that, we understand that,” he said.
Zubiri said despite the lack of funds, he believes Duterte will make it.
Bukidnon is fourth among the Mindanao provinces with most number of voters at 765,898. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA/northboundasia.com