By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
Six days before the May 9 elections, survey frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. remains on top of the field of presidential candidates, according to the latest Pulse Asia preferential survey released on Monday.
The results of the survey conducted last April 16 to 21 showed Marcos’ rating was unchanged at 56% from the poll conducted on March 17 to 21.
Marcos’s rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, took the second spot with 23%, down 1% from the previous survey.
His running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, also maintained the top spot in the vice-presidential race with a 55-percent rating.
This was down by 1 point from the March survey but 37 points higher than her closest rival, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who remained at second place with 18 percent.
Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan stayed at third place with 16 percent, up just one point over the last month. Dr. Willie Ong is at fourth place with 3 percent, followed by Manny Lopez with 1 percent, overtaking Rep. Lito Atienza at fifth place.
The latest Pulse Asia Survey was conducted among 2,400 respondents — all registered voters aging 18 years old and above — using face-to-face interviews. The margin of error is at ±2%.
According to Pulse Asia, the respondents were asked: “If the coming May 2022 elections were held today, whom would you vote for as president of the Philippines?”
In a statement, Marcos’ spokesman, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, welcomed Marcos’ lead in the presidential survey.
“Seven days to go before election day, the trajectory and the numbers of presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos and vice-presidential leader Sara Duterte are showing no signs of slowing down,” Rodriguez said.
“The message and call for unity have reverberated all over the land among a great majority of Filipinos who responded by continuously embracing the tandem of BBM-SARA,” he added.
Rodriguez emphasized that the most important survey would be on Election Day.
“We call upon our countrymen to be vigilant and let us make sure that the true and genuine will of the people shall be heard, be counted and prevail,” he said.
Among other presidential bets, Senator Manny Pacquiao took over third place from Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso. From 6% in the March survey, Pacquiao’s rating increased to 7% while Moreno’s dropped from 8% to 4%.
Senator Panfilo Lacson’s rating was unchanged at 2%. He was followed in the Pulse Asia poll by Ernie Abella (1%), Faisal Mangondato (1%), Leody de Guzman, (0.3%), Norberto Gonzales (0.1%), and Jose Montemayor Jr. (0.1%).
The camp of Marcos expressed confidence of victory on May 9 but vowed not to be complacent.
“We are optimistic. We are confident, but we are never complacent and that is always our guarded optimism!”
Rodriguez said in an interview with broadcaster Anthony Taberna, as he called on millions of their supporters to remaincalm but vigilant and ensure their votes are counted.
“Of course, when you embark on a big undertaking as huge as this, you have to have a positive mindset. Similarly, our campaign is positive campaigning. Now, we’re down into the last stretch of the campaign, are we confident? We have to be, otherwise, we do not have any business continuing with our campaign if we are not confident or optimistic of our chances come May 9,” Rodriguez said.
For Robredo’s camp, her numbers remain “encouraging” despite her slight drop, her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said in a statement.
“Her numbers remain encouraging, even if the survey does not yet capture the series of massive rallies from mid-April onwards, including the record-breaking 400k+ Pasay rally on April 23,” he said.
“The latest Pulse Asia survey… confirms Vice President Leni Robredo’s upward trajectory and momentum,” Gutierrez added.
He noted that Robredo’s supporters are continuing “intensified efforts” of house-to-house and person-to-person campaigns, which he hopes will translate into votes next Monday.
“This has truly become a people’s campaign, a grassroots movement of Filipinos from all walks of life and from all over the Philippines,” he said.
Rodriguez added there are lots of information and misinformation flying around these few days leading to elections, and he urged Marcos supporters to be very circumspect and wary when processing and verifying anything that comes their way.
He also urged the public to trust the electoral process and the institution, particularly the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that will mainly be responsible for conducting the political exercise.
“In fact, we have to support them. We have to strengthen them. Do we trust Smartmatic? well, it’s a tough question you’ve asked . . . As long as we have a sad experience in 2016. So, that is what we need to watch but that is what we believe in the government,” said Rodriguez.
“We trust President Duterte that he will make part of his legacy as president that the election will be clean, dignified and honest.
Smartmatic, we’ll leave it up to the Commission on Elections, but we will guard our votes and make sure that our vote is counted,” he added.
Rodriguez said that apart from the millions of supporters who vowed to vote for Marcos on May 9, there must also be watchers who should keep a close watch of the election returns.
“The beauty of it is, we have UniTeam, it’s an alliance of political parties so we have a lot of helpers to guard besides the PFP, the Federal Party of the Philippines. “Lakas is there, the party of vice presidential frontrunner Inday Sara Duterte,” he said.
“There is also the Party of the Filipino Masses of Senator Jinggoy and former President Joseph Estrada. The Nacionalista Party is also there now, and the PDP-Laban and many others are now there. even the partylists,” he explained.
Rodriguez also said the warning issued by President Duterte to some groups and individuals who might want to subvert or influence the outcome of elections should serve them in good stead.
“Don’t try to cheat under his term, because I think he wants this to be part of the Duterte Legacy,” the spokesman said.