By Kaithreen Cruz | The Manila Times
(UPDATE) THE team of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio continued their domination of surveys of candidates in the May elections.
In OCTA Research's February poll, Marcos was the choice for president of 55 percent of the respondents, 1 percent higher than what he got in OCTA's December 2021 survey.
He dominated all subnational regions — 65 percent in Mindanao, 56 percent in Balance Luzon, 47 percent in the Visayas and 46 percent in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Marcos also ruled the socioeconomic classes, with 58 percent in the ABC group, 54 percent in the D and 55 percent in the E group.
Trailing him were Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo at 15 percent, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso (11 percent), Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao (10 percent) and Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson (3 percent).
Domagoso was the second preference of voters at 29 percent, if their initial candidate drops out of the race.
Robredo had 16 percent; Marcos, 13 percent; Pacquiao, 12 percent; Lacson, 11 percent; labor leader Leodegario "Ka Leody" de Guzman, 1 percent; former defense chief Norberto Gonzales, 0.5 percent; and Faisal Mangondato, 0.2 percent.
OCTA said 17 percent of respondents either refused to give an answer for their second choice for president or do not know who their second pick will be.
Duterte-Carpio was the preferred vice-presidential candidate of 43 percent of the respondents, 7 percent lower than last December's rating.
She was followed by Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto 3rd (33 percent), Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan (10 percent), Dr. Willie Ong (7 percent) and Buhay party-list Rep. Jose "Lito" Atienza (1 percent).
Duterte-Carpio was the main candidate in Mindanao at 82 percent and the Visayas at 43 percent, while she tied with Sotto in the NCR at 40 percent.
Sotto took the lead in Balance Luzon at 46 percent.
Duterte-Carpio garnered 45 percent in ABC group, 42 percent in the D group and 48 percent in the E group.
Sotto was the top second choice at 30 percent among vice-presidential candidates, followed by Pangilinan (19 percent), Duterte-Carpio (13 percent), Ong (12 percent), Atienza (4 percent), Manny Lopez (1 percent), Carlos Serapio and Rizalito David (0.1 percent each), and Walden Bello (0.02 percent).
OCTA interviewed 1,200 respondents nationwide from February 12 to 17.
Marcos' spokesman Vic Rodriguez said the results of the OCTA survey confirmed that the direct, on-ground communication campaign approach worked for the candidate.
"Certainly, there is no substitute to showing up in person, in flesh and blood, just to be in the company of millions of individuals one wishes to serve," Rodriguez said.
Marcos and Duterte-Carpio also received the endorsement of a coalition of supporters of Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go.
The coalition, led by senatorial candidate Greco Belgica, and referring to themselves as the Let's GO-UniTeam Coalition, is composed of more than 300 groups of Duterte DieHard Supporters (DDS) and Bong Go supporters in the 2016 and 2019 elections "who remained loyal up to this time."
It said the coalition was established to "uphold the essence of [the] ultimate sacrifice made by much-loved Senator Go" after the withdrawal of his certificate of candidacy from the Commission on Elections.
"Following the lapse of [a] considerable cooling-off period of time after the heart-shaking withdrawal, [we] have finally accepted it, moved on, and came into a consensus to support UniTeam base on merit and track records of BBM-Sara tandem," the group said in a statement.
The group lauded Duterte-Carpio for endorsing Marcos, highlighting that he was the only skilled, capable and efficient candidate among the presidential candidates.
Marcos' competency to lead "was bolstered through the display of his attitude and character by not showing any retaliatory measure against his critics despite striking below the belt against his person and that of his family — an example of positive traits of a leader with [a] positive mental attitude which is crucial in making decisions in difficult times," the coalition added.
The UniTeam campaign manager, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos Jr., accepted the manifesto of support presented by the coalition.