UNITEAM grand rally in Ilagan, Isabela province on Sunday, May 1. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES
By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter
THE SON and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos kept his lead in Pulse Asia Research, Inc.’s presidential opinion poll exactly a week before this year’s election.
In a statement posted on its website on Monday, the pollster said 56% of Filipinos would vote for former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. His April rating was unchanged from the previous month.
Still at a distant second place was Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo with 23%, 1 point lower than her March score.
Senator and boxing champion Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao overtook Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko” M. Domagoso with 7%, gaining a point. The mayor lost 4 points to 4%.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson remained in fifth place with 2%.
Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, Mr. Marcos’s vice-presidential mate, kept the top spot with 55%, a point lower than in March, Pulse Asia said.
Still in second place was Senator Vicente C. Sotto III with 18%, 2 points lower than in March, followed by Senator Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan who gained a point at 16%
Pulse Asia said Mr. Marcos got the majority in most areas, from 54% to 67%, while in central Philippines, less than half of votes or 47% expressed support for Mr. Marcos. “These figures are virtually the same as those recorded by the latter in March 2022.”
It added that support for Ms. Robredo ranged from 11% in Mindanao to 34% in the Visayas.
Ms. Robredo’s score rose by 9 points in Metro Manila and fell by 6 points for the rest of Luzon from March, Pulse said. “These movements fall short of being significant given the relevant error margins for these subgroupings.”
“It seems like the numbers of VP Robredo did not move,” Arjan P. Aguirre, who teaches political science at the Ateneo De Manila University, said in a Facebook Messenger chat. “But upon closer look, the Leni-Kiko tandem is making a dent in terms of gaining points in Metro Manila and being statistically tied at second place, respectively.”
Mr. Aguirre said Ms. Robredo and her running mate Senator Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan have managed to secure the second spot, sending a message to voters that they are part of the emerging two-way race.
“The house-to-house efforts, recent endorsements and mammoth rallies are working for them,” he said. “They started at the bottom before the onset of the election, look how much they have improved in the polls — at second place in a likely two-way race.”
In a statement, Ms. Robredo’s spokesman said her numbers were encouraging even if the poll did not capture the series of rallies for the opposition tandem from mid-April onward, including the record-breaking rally near Manila, the capital that drew more than 400,000 supporters.
“The remaining weeks of the campaign have seen intensified efforts at house-to-house, person to person campaigning by thousands of volunteers, which we believe will translate to support on election day,” said Ibarra M. Gutierrez III.
“This has truly become a people’s campaign, a grassroots movement of Filipinos from all walks of life and from all over the Philippines.”
Mr. Sotto, Mr. Lacson’s vice-presidential running mate, said he is confident of winning on May 9, adding that opinion polls and large campaign rallies would not guarantee a candidate’s victory. “We can still win this fight,” he said in a statement in Filipino.
“The people know who will truly serve them. On election day, I believe that the people will use their mind and heart in voting for the next set of leaders of our country.”
Pulse Asia interviewed 2,400 adult voters for the April 16-21 poll, which had an error margin of ±2 points.
Among the major events during the polling period were the dismissal of the disqualification cases against Mr. Marcos, his family’s P203-billion estate tax liabilities and Mr. Domagoso’s call for Ms. Robredo to quit the presidential race. — with Norman P. Aquino