The Manila Times : BBM only needs confirmation as president

By Ruben D. Torres | The Manila Times

THE latest surveys on voter preferences clearly indicate a Bongbong Marcos win in next Monday's presidential elections. Verily, next Monday's presidential election will be just the final confirmation of BBM as the next President of the Philippines.

The latest Pulse Asia survey shows Bongbong Marcos with 56 percent voter preference, which is still way ahead of the numbers for the next presidential contender, Leni Robredo.

With only three days remaining before the voters cast their ballots, many political observers have already conceded the election to BBM. The betting now is not on who will win, but on what will be the margin of victory of Marcos over Robredo.

This year's presidential election has no precedent in our country. This is the first time that there is a lopsided race even before the campaign began.

To be sure, Vice President Leni Robredo has improved her poll ratings, but only by a mere 2 percent from the February surveys of Pulse Asia and OCTA. The latest Pulse Asia survey indicates that Bongbong Marcos has 56 percent of voter preference while Leni Robredo has 21 percent. This margin is insurmountable at this late stage of the election.

With only three days left before Election Day, the other presidential candidates may as well consider conceding the election to Marcos. I really cannot see what more can be done to reverse the trend and defeat Ferdinand Marcos Jr. This is also true with respect to the vice presidential race, where Sara Duterte-Carpio has maintained her voter preference rating at 56 percent while her closest rival has only 23 percent.

Pulse Asia is confident that the surveys indicate that no significant changes can be expected on voter preferences, considering that only a few days remain before the votes are cast.

The research director of Pulse Asia, Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda, said that "a majority of the 65 million registered voters have already decided at this time and no amount of convincing can make them change their minds about their preferred bets." She is confident that the "results of the surveys could also be the results of the May 9, 2022 elections."

The survey results showing BBM having a 56 percent voter preference, if translated into votes, would mean 29,120,000 voting for Marcos Jr., assuming that at least 80 percent of the 65 million registered voters would actually vote. This is almost double the number of votes that President Duterte obtained in the 2016 elections.

With a very clear mandate, Bongbong Marcos can easily pursue with confidence the projects and programs which the present administration, by its own admission, promised to do but failed to accomplish.

This country certainly needs a president who has the courage and the will to rid government of corruption, which is pervasive in almost all levels. Previous presidents of this country, including the incumbent, Rodrigo Duterte, have failed to even make a dent on corruption in government.

Another problem that can be solved by a very popular president is drug proliferation and addiction. Again, the incumbent failed to solve this despite all the initial bravado and hubris, not to mention the thousands of deaths and incarcerations.

Bongbong Marcos will be expected to fulfill his promise during the campaign, that his administration will "undertake an elaborate and all-encompassing food production for the country" to attain what he described as food sovereignty.

The quest for peace must also be addressed. While the Muslim-led Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have signed peace agreements with the government, there are still rebel groups that are actively engaged in terrorist activities in Mindanao. The Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed contingent, the New People's Army (CPP-NPA), have yet to lay down their arms, and continue to engage in guerrilla warfare in many parts of the country. The incoming administration must include peace-building within our country among its priorities.

Filipinos will also expect the next president to safeguard the integrity of our territory by upholding and defending the Philippines' sovereign rights over the islands in the South China Sea in accordance with international law and the arbitration decision.

With a very clear and popular mandate, the next president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., should address the problems of the workers in our country. Foremost among these difficulties are unemployment and underemployment, poverty, low wages and short-term employment, or "endo," which deprives workers of security of tenure in employment.

For after all, labor matters.