Bongbong tops survey for VP amid attacks by rival bets
SEN. FERDINAND “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. appears to have so far escaped unhurt the sustained bashing he has been getting front and center for refusing to apologize for the martial law excesses of his father’s martial law regime, topping the latest Pulse Asia voter preference survey of vice presidential candidates released on Tuesday.
The survey showed Marcos got a nationwide rating of 27 percent, with solid support coming from Metro Manila, Luzon outside Metro Manila, Classes ABC and D, results of the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted from April 5 to 10 showed.
He held a four-point lead over Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero who was preferred by 23 percent of the respondents. Escudero was in a statistical tie with Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo who had 21 percent.
The survey, commissioned by ABS-CBN, interviewed 4,000 respondents and used a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage points.
In the one and only vice presidential debate sponsored by the Commission on Elections and CNN Philippines on April 10, Marcos was skewered by his rival on issues of his father’s human rights record, corruption and the alleged stolen billions of dollars.
President Aquino himself has been leading the Bongbong Marcos bashing, devoting his speech on the 30th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution in February to the excesses of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship after the New York Times said that Filipinos, disillusioned by the Aquino administration’s ineptness, were yearning for the Philippines’ “golden age” under martial law rule.
Explaining Marcos’ surge in the survey, Edmund Tayao, a political science professor at the University of Santo Tomas, noted a similarity between Marcos and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is seeking the presidency.
Duterte and Marcos leading the polls shows the voters’ preference for “strong men and decisive leadership,” said Richard Javad Heydarian, political science professor at De La Salle University.
There was little change in the ratings of the vice presidential candidates compared to the last Pulse survey conducted from March 29 to April 3. Marcos was down by a point, Escudero was up by one point while Robredo’s rating was unchanged.
“Albeit small, there are still movements in the ratings. This remains a three-way race,” Tayao said.
Following the top three were Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (17 percent from 15 percent), Sen. Gringo Honasan (4 percent, unchanged from the last survey) and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (3 percent from 5 percent).
Marcos was the leading candidate in Metro Manila (40 percent), Luzon outside Metro Manila (35 percent), Class ABC (43 percent) and Class D (28 percent), while Robredo topped the Visayas (35 percent) and Cayetano was the most favored in Mindanao (32 percent).
The ratings of Escudero (23 percent), Marcos (22 percent), Robredo (22 percent) and Cayetano (20 percent) were almost the same among Class E.
Sixteen percent said Cayetano was their alternative candidate while 13 percent chose Robredo and 13 percent picked Marcos. Trillanes and Honasan were the second choice of 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
Escudero would gain the most if Marcos cancels his candidacy with 33 percent of the latter’s voters naming Escudero as their second-choice candidate.
Escudero was also the alternative candidate of 38 percent of Robredo’s voters, 36 percent of Cayetano’s supporters and 24 percent of those who favored Trillanes.
Message of unity
In a statement on the survey result, Marcos said, “It is a validation that the Filipino people want to hear platforms and programs rather than mudslinging.”
He added, “Our message of unity is being accepted and the survey results will continue to inspire us to work doubly hard in the remaining days of the campaign.”
At the “Agbiag ti Ilocano (Long live the Ilocano)” event at Manila Polo Club on Monday, Marcos said that he had always been spreading the message of unity, which was being well-received and accepted around the country.
He pointed out that it was time to bring back the true essence of public service but the campaign still has to be won and it was time to work “double time” in the remaining period of the campaign.
After the event, Marcos explained that he needed to work doubly hard on the campaign, saying, “I am not counting out anyone from the vice presidential race… Every candidate has skills, a bailiwick, support so I take every candidate’s campaign seriously.”
He added that he was focusing on his own style of campaign and would not be distracted. “Other candidates will do what they do. We will continue with our campaign and message of unity, merit and excellence in government. That I think is something that reverberates with the people.” With a report from Jeannette I. Andrade
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