By Krisitina Maralit and Kaithreen Cruz | The Manila Times
A SURVEY on preferred presidential candidates in next year's elections released Friday has former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. posting a comfortable lead.
In Publicus Asia's survey conducted from October 11 to 18, Marcos was the preferred candidate of 49.3 percent of respondents.
It was a 31.5-percent increase for Marcos from the results of the Publicus survey last July.
The pollster postponed its September survey to wait for the final list of people who filed certificates of candidacy (CoCs) for president.
Trailing Marcos were Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo with 21 percent, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso (9 percent), Senators Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao (3 percent each), and Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa (1.9 percent).
The preference for Robredo rose by 7.8 percent from 13.3 percent in July, while that for Domagoso dropped by 2.5 percent from 11.3 percent.
Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go topped the vice presidential survey with 23.6 percent, followed by Dr. Willie Ong (19 percent), Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto 3rd (17.3 percent), and Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan (12.3 percent).
"It is important to note that around 17 percent of respondents indicated that they have yet to decide on their VP pick," Publicus said.
The survey had 1,500 respondents drawn from a market research panel of over 20,000 Filipinos, it said.
It was an independent and noncommissioned poll, Publicus added.
Also on Friday, a top official of Aksyon Demokratiko slammed Marcos for allegedly stealing an idea from Domagoso, the party's standard-bearer.
Ernest Ramel, Aksyon Demokratiko chairman, said Marcos' appeal to Congress to suspend the excise tax on oil products was a pick-up from the promise Domagoso made during his recent town hall meeting with farmers in Tarlac City.
"Mayor Isko Moreno had a dialog with some 100 farmers in Tarlac City where our party standard-bearer said that should he become president, he "is committed to cut on the excise tax on petroleum products by 50 percent as this would directly benefit not only poor people but also the middle class who have been at the receiving end of the weekly price increases of crude oil," Ramel said in a statement.
"A few hours after Mayor Isko's pronouncement was carried by mainstream online media, the son and namesake of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos now issues a statement calling on Congress to suspend excise tax on oil products. This move to suspend the excise tax makes sense and will have an immediate impact on our people," he said.
Ramel said Marcos was guilty of "idea theft" and likened him to a "rich kid from Forbes Park stealing the "term paper" of a poor but smart kid from the slums of Tondo."
"It seems that thievery and fakery is in the blood of the Marcoses. Fake war medals of Senior. Fake diploma from Oxford of Junior," he said.
Slashing the tax on electricity and oil and other petroleum products is part of Domagoso's post-pandemic economic recovery plan if he is elected president.
He said a 50-percent tax break on power will be a boon not only to consumers of electricity but also to business and enterprise owners whose eventual savings will translate to additional income for workers and for low-income families.