By Vito Barcelo and Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
Former senator and presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr emerged as the most preferred candidate for president in the coming 2022 national elections, according to the latest Social Weather Stations survey.
The Stratbase ADR Institute Inc. confirmed the results of the survey it commissioned and conducted by SWS from Oct. 20 to 23, which showed Marcos and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who is running for vice president, leading the survey.
The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard-bearer’s chief of staff, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, said Marcos remained humble and focused on creating plans to help the Filipino people emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unifying presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos is humbled by the very encouraging results showing him lead survey after survey but has remained focus (sic) on the delicate task ahead of how to navigate and get us all out of this crisis brought by the pandemic when given the chance to lead the country in 2022,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez also thanked the “Kababayans” for their continued trust and called on each Filipino to reject gutter politics and end the culture of character assassination.
“Let us instead elevate the level of political discourse and talk about nation building,” said Rodriguez.
“It is clear to Bongbong Marcos that this election is all about the future, the future of every Filipino and the future of our nation,” he added.
The SWS survey showed that Marcos got 47 percent of the votes, while Vice-President Leni Robredo was far behind him with 18 percent. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno came in third with 13 percent. Senator Manny Pacquiao was fourth with 9 percent.
The tie for fifth place is between Senators Panfilo Lacson and Bato Dela Rosa with 5 percent.
The report did not mention how many respondents were in the survey and did not include the name of another presidential candidate, Labor leader Leody de Guzman.
It also showed that 3 percent are still undecided on who to vote for as President.
Meanwhile, Sotto got 44 percent for the vice-presidential race. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte followed him with 25 percent, both in third place are Senator Francis Pangilinan and Dr. Willie Ong both with 13 percent followed by Buhay Partylist Rep. Jose Atienza with 3 percent.
Two percent are still undecided who to vote for as Vice-President.
SWS did the survey more than three weeks before Sara Duterte formally submitted her candidacy as vice president, and Senator Bong Go filed his candidacy as President last Saturday.
Marcos’ candidacy is being questioned at the Commission on Elections over his tax evasion conviction in 1995.
Lacson, Partido Reporma’s standard bearer, said he was “not distracted” by his recent survey performance.
“I’m not affected at all. I am being honest,” he told ANC’s Headstart.
“I pay more attention to the efforts of our people on the ground. I pay more attention to studying the solutions to the humongous problems we have right now,” he said.
Lacson, who is running with Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said their team is focusing on getting support from the grassroots.
“Grassroots mas importante (The grassroots are more important) … At the end of the day, it will be issues that will matter,” he said.
In an earlier interview, Lacson admitted his serious tone and no-nonsense style may be affecting his appeal to voters.
Despite this strategy, Lacson asserted that voters should be further educated so that they would not choose leaders based on entertainment value displayed on social media.
Marcos has some of the most viewed politics-related content on social media, particularly on TikTok.
Clips about Marcos on the video-sharing app are usually about his day-to-day life, and conspiracy theories about the achievements and demise of his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos.
The campaign team of Domagoso, Aksyon Demokratiko’s standard bearer, is also “unbothered” by the latest survey results.
“‘Yung mga boto ni Sara, nag-migrate lang kay BBM,” said Lito Banayo, the Manila Mayor’s campaign manager -- referring to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who filed her candidacy for vice president only over the weekend, and Marcos, whose camp promptly announced it was adopting the former as their vice presidential bet.
Duterte-Carpio was the front runner in a similar survey conducted by Pulse Asia last September. Marcos was second, Domagoso was in 3rd place, Pacquiao was fourth, Robredo was sixth, and Lacson was 7th.
“If you look at the numbers, very soft ‘yung support… Ang tao ngayon, namimili pa (The public is still in the process of choosing),” said Banayo, who also spearheaded the successful presidential bids of President Rodrigo Duterte and the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
At this point, it is better for Domagoso to trail behind in the surveys, the veteran campaigner said.
“Kapag ikaw ang top, magiging target ka… That’s the standard,” he said.
Instead of minding pre-campaign surveys, the Manila Mayor will focus on his “listening tour,” Banayo said.
Meanwhile, Partido Lakas ng Masa presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman said it is expected that he is not included in the commissioned survey but added that the recognition of his bid by the Filipino people is far more important.
“That is a commissioned survey by candidates. We expect my rivals not to give recognition to my candidacy because they have no intention of raising the discourse in the election,” he told reporters.
“It is more important for the masses and workers to recognize my candidacy than by those who commissioned that survey,” De Guzman added in Filipino.