Duterte for President gains more supporters, including MNLF-Misuari faction

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 March) — The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under founding chair Nur Misuari will support “110%” Mayor Rodrigo Duterte  in case he decides to run for President in 2016, MNLF spokesperson Emmanuel Fontanilla said in campaign rally for the Duterte presidency at Rizal Park on Friday afternoon. 

Fontanilla said Duterte was the right candidate for the Presidency especially because Mindanawons “come from a history of neglect from the Philippine government.”

“We contribute a lot in terms of resources to the national government but the national government does not give back,” he said. Fontanilla said that even before the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Malacanan Palace on March 27, Duterte had been a conduit for peace among different groups rebelling against the Philippine government.

He said Duterte speaks to all groups and listen to their concerns, from the MNLF, MILF, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) to the New People’s Army (NPA). “Duterte is the solution to the problems of Mindanao,” Fontanilla said, adding the MNLF would support “110%” Duterte’s presidency.

Fontanilla spoke in front of a crowd of more than 500 people asking Duterte to run for President. The campaign was started in February and led by Barangay R. Castillo, Agdao chief Mar Masanguid. Banners flown throughout the Rizal Park, near City Hall, showed other supportive barangays, among these Tibungco, Communal, Talomo Proper, Centro, Waan, Pampanga, Guianga, New Valencia, Sumimao, Cabantian, New Valencia, Calinan Poblacion, 20B, 34D, 40D, 29C, 27C, 36D, 23C, and 34D.

Masanguid said there were at least 50 barangays that have manifested support for Duterte but the support is spilling over to other areas, too. Isulan, Sultan Kudarat Vice Mayor Cyrus Torrena and San Isidro, Davao Oriental Barangay Captain Shiela Navarro also gave out their messages of support for Davao City’s mayor. Torrena said that in his municipality he would campaign for Duterte to run for the presidency.

Davao City Councilor Al-Ryan Alejandre, meanwhile, said in a speech that the Quezon City Chinese Community was willing to support Duterte, despite the mayor’s reluctance. He said members of Quezon City’s Chinatown Development Council had pledged any form of assistance in case Duterte decided to run. Masanguid said he had no problems with Duterte threatening to quit politics if the campaign to ask him to run still pushes through.

“That’s his opinion and he is entitled to it,” Masanguid said. Asked how many signatures have been collected, Masanguid said they are still consolidating the information from manually signed forms disseminated during public assemblies and barangay-to-barangay tours. The barangay captain said they aim to collect around seven million signatures of support by May 2014.  (MindaNews)