Manila Standard : ‘More lawmakers switch to BBM’

10 April 2022

By Manila Standard

With less than 30 days left before the May 9 elections, Rep. Michael “Mike” Defensor (Anakalusugan) sees more members of Congress and local executives swinging their political support in favor of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and vice-presidential running mate Sara “Inday” Duterte in the days ahead.

“Every politician wants to be in the good graces of the next president. Nobody really wants to stick out like a sore thumb as the governor of a province, or the mayor of a city, or the representative of a district where the next president lost,” Defensor said in a statement on Sunday.

Defensor is the Marcos-Duterte tandem’s mayoral candidate for Quezon City, the country’s largest city by population and registered voters. Defensor is running against Joy Belmonte, a known ally of Vice President Leni Robredo.

Based on the latest surveys, Defensor described as “unbeatable” the Marcos-Duterte tandem’s “commanding lead” in the races for president and vice president.

Defensor expects politicians who are still supporting other presidential and vice-presidential candidates “to flee and jump off their sinking ships” and rally behind the Marcos-Duterte tandem.

“We would not be surprised if Bongbong is now receiving phone calls from members of Congress, governors, and mayors conveying their assurances that they are absolutely committed to supporting him as the next president,” Defensor said. Defensor’s remarks came not long after Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri and his father, Bukidnon Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri Jr., publicly declared their support for Marcos and Duterte.

The Zubiris previously kept a neutral stance and avoided endorsing candidates for president and vice president.

In the March 17-21 Pulse Asia survey, Marcos held on to his huge lead in the presidential race. He is favored by 56 percent of the voters, whereas Robredo is favored by only 24 percent.

In a separate March 17-22 poll by Laylo Research Strategies, Marcos fared even better. He is preferred by 61 percent of the voters, whereas Robredo is preferred by only 19 percent.

In the vice-presidential contest, Duterte is favored by 56 percent of the voters, whereas Robredo’s vice-presidential running mate, outgoing Sen. Francis Pangilinan, is favored by only 15 percent, according to the Pulse Asia poll.

In the Laylo survey, Duterte is preferred by 60 percent of the voters as the next vice president.