THE ruling Liberal Party (LP) will campaign harder for its 2016 presidential bet Manuel Roxas II in Mindanao amid reports that some administration politicians there are thinking of shifting their support to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Monday.

“The Liberal Party will campaign harder (for Roxas) in Mindanao, whether there is such development (Duterte entering the presidential race) or none,” Drilon, LP vice chairman, said in a radio interview.

He added it is "natural" for some politicians, especially in Davao, to support Duterte, "for the reason that they were waiting for Mayor Digong (Duterte) to decide and what would be his decision."

“But such expression that there is exodus, that all (will be supporting Duterte), is not true. We are receiving letters from some places like Compostela Valley where LP members continuously support Secretary Mar Roxas,” he added.

Duterte's spokesperson Peter Laviña said on Sunday that up to 80 percent of leaders of Mindanao will back the mayor "although most will do it covertly."

"We fully understand their predicament not to earn ire of the Palace. We do not really mind if these politicians go with Mar, (Vice President Jejomar) Binay or (Senator Grace) Poe for as long as their constituents are with Rody (Duterte). The rabid ones who will attack Rody will on the other hand face the wrath of the people," Laviña said.

Duterte, who recently announced that he is running for president, topped the latest presidential survey by pollster Pulse Asia in Metro Manila.

The November 11 to 12 survey showed that 34 percent of the 300 respondents will pick Duterte as the country’s next president while Roxas only ranked fourth, with only 11 percent of respondents choosing him. (Sunnex)