In Cebu, barangay chiefs who are LP allies back Duterte

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Goodbye, Mar. Hello, Rody.

Several barangay officials allied with Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) have come out to support Rodrigo Duterte’s presidential bid instead of Mar Roxas's.

However, they will continue to support BOPK chief and mayoral candidate Tomas Osmeña.

BOPK, as a group, is supporting Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Roxas. It has been an LP ally since 2010.

Movers of the "Let’s DO (Duterte-Osmeña) It" campaign are Tejero Barangay Captain Jessielou Cadungog, Tejero Barangay Councilor Ian Arago and Buhisan Barangay Captain Greman Barete.

Cadungog said that other members of the group are Capitol Site Barangay Captain Manuel Guanzon, Pahina Central Barangay Captain Carlo Yap, Hipodromo Barangay Captain Petronilo Fat and former Tinago barangay captain Domingo Lopez.

BOPK has 10 of the 80 barangay captains in the city on its side.

Let’s DO It campaign is also supported by some 60 businessmen, said Boyek Galang, owner of Arbee’s Bakeshop.

Galang, Cadungog and Arago held a press conference yesterday to announce the shift of support by BOPK barangay captains.

Cadungog said Osmeña didn’t know about the shift of presidential support of the BOPK barangay captains and some officials.

Cadungog said a Duterte presidency and an Osmeña mayorship would be a better synergy than if it were Roxas-Osmeña.

"Ang amo lang naglantaw lang mi sa liderato nilang duha," Cadungog said.

Aside from their brand of leadership, five other reasons prompted them to go for DO.

They said Duterte and Osmeña have a good record in fighting criminality, they have spurred economic development in their cities and they have no record of graft and corruption.

Both are frank, honest, straightforward and transparent and that drug lords dread them both.

Sought for comment, Osmeña said he will continue to campaign for Roxas in Cebu City.

“But Duterte has plenty of sympathy from the people. I personally like the guy but Mar is better. Duterte is better in peace and order. As far as I am concerned, I am all for Mar,” he said.

Osmeña said the move of the barangay officials will hurt Roxas’s campaign in Cebu City.

"I tried to convince them (to support Roxas) but I don’t force them," he said.

The Let’s DO It campaign materials bearing the names of Duterte and Osmeña started to surface in Cebu during the second presidential debate held in Cebu City last month.

Explaining the junking of Roxas, Arago said their support for Duterte and Osmeña was a personal choice.

"We are not here as a political party. Ang amoa ra gyud ang systema ni Mayor Tom ug Mayor Duterte nga gwapo kaayo ang ilang tandem. Ang amoa ra gyud ang klaro nga pagduma sa pang-gobyerno ug nakita namo na nilang duha (We find a Duterte-Osmeña tandem a good one. We only want clear governance and we see that Duterte and Osmeña can provide us with that.)," he said. – Rappler.com

This article is republished under Rappler's content sharing agreement with the SunStar network in the coverage of the 2016 national and local elections.