• Several Bicol politicians switched to the camp of Duterte
  • Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya supported Senator Grace Poe before joining Duterte
  • Other local leaders who previously supported Poe were spotted at Duterte’s grand rally in Camarines Norte

With just a little over a week before the May 9 elections, several politicians from the Bicol region joined the Duterte bandwagon.

Local politicians in the region led by Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya joined Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano in a campaign rally held in Camarines Norte on Friday, April 29.

Andaya, chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in Camarines Sur and a former Budget secretary during the Arroyo administration, previously supported Senator Grace Poe before jumping over to the camp of Mayor Duterte.

John Carlo Cahinhinan wrote in his Sun Star article dated April 30, 2016 that the Camarines Sur representative, a former Lakas-Kampi member, was among the over 200 politicians who defected to the NPC in September 2015 to form an alliance to support the candidacy of Poe and her running mate Senator Francis Escudero.  Last February, the NPC leadership endorsed the candidacy of the Poe-Escudero tandem.

Andaya said he switched to the camp of Duterte because the Davao City mayor was a leader who could stand for him and the interest of Camarines Sur province, the Inquirer wrote.

The  other major local leaders in Bicol belonging to different political parties of Duterte’s rivals in the presidential race include: Al Bichara (reelectionist governor of Albay), Antonio Kho (running for governor of Masbate), Atoy Typoco (running for governor of Camarines Norte), Edgardo Tallado (running for reelection as governor of Camarines Norte), Mark Dioneda (running for governor of Sorsogon), Jun Verceles (running for reelection as congressman of Catanduanes), and Christopher Co (nominee of AKB party-list group).

Duterte’s Bicol region supporters, now called “One Bicol”, promised to deliver at least 1 million votes for him come Election Day.