Roxas on Ungab's rumored move to Duterte camp: I understand
MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II said he would understand if Davao City Third District Representative Isidro Ungab, an LP stalwart, decides to support the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
There are speculations that Ungab, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is jumping ship.
"I can understand that. Taga-Davao City siya. Hindi pa kami nag-uusap ... Hindi ko alam kung totoo 'yan, pero kung totoo na nangyari 'yan, that's understandable," Roxas told reporters on Monday, December 7.
(I can understand that because he's from Davao City. We haven't talked yet ... I don't know if that's true, but if it's true, that's understandable.)
Ungab's chief of staff Cristina Tuaño told Rappler they have yet to release a statement, but refused to confirm anything.
The congressman has been a known Duterte ally since he began holding local office in Davao City.
In a text message to Rappler, Davao City First District Representative Karlo Nograles said Ungab's rumored move to the Duterte camp is expected since it was the mayor who pushed Ungab to run.
"Every election, Mayor Rudy was in the forefront, campaigning for Ungab for Congress," said Nograles, who, along with his father, former Speaker Prospero Nograles, already declared support for Duterte after being political rivals for 30 years.
Some of Ungab's most recent updates on Facebook are also about the Davao City mayor.
He posted news articles on Duterte topping a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, and also shared on Friday, December 4, a photo of Duterte with church leaders. (READ: CBCP slams Duterte for cursing Pope Francis)
Meanwhile, Akbayan Party-list Representative Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of the LP-led "Daang Matuwid" coalition, said he does not want to preempt Ungab's decision since "defections" from their allies in Mindanao "have proven to be unfounded."
Gutierrez still believes the support of officials from Mindanao "remains firm." – Rappler.com
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