By Claire Morales True
QUEZON CITY – If surveys are to be believed, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Senate President Vicente Sotto III are the top candidates for president and vice president for the 2022 elections.
Marcos and Sotto emerged as the country’s top presidential and VP bets in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted from October 20 to 23 and commissioned by the Stratbase ADR Institute of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
The survey showed that Marcos Jr. polled 47% from 1,200 survey respondents followed by Vice President Maria Leonor Leni Robredo who got 18%.
Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, who is popularly known by his actor’s name Isko Moreno, was third with 13% followed by Senator Emmanuel Manny Pacquiao with 9%, Senator Panfilo Lacson with 5% and Senator Ronald Bato dela Rosa with 5%. Dela Rosa has withdrawn his candidacy and was replaced as administration candidate by Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
Labor leader Leody De Guzman, another presidential contender, was not included in the survey.
Three percent of respondents said they were still “undecided” on who to vote for president in next year’s elections.
Robredo ranked only sixth in a similar survey conducted by Pulse Asia in September, getting only the support of 8 percent of respondents. Marcos, on the other hand, was in second place, with 15 percent. The survey was topped by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte then.
SWS said it used interviews of 1,200 respondents which were chosen through random sampling. It also has a sampling error margin of ±3%.
Respondents were asked in the survey the question: “Kung ang eleksyon ay gaganapin ngayon, sino po ang pinakamalamang ninyong iboboto bilang Presidente ng Pilipinas? (If elections were to happen today, who will you vote as the country’s president?).”
In the vice presidential poll, Senator Sotto led the possible bets with 44%, followed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte with 25%.
Following Sotto and Dtuerte are Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan with 13%, former senatorial aspirant Dr. Willie Ong with 13% and Buhay Party-list Representative and Deputy Speaker Jose Lito Atienza Jr.
A copy of the survey results, which also include those for the vice presidency and senatorial race, was obtained by ABS-CBN News, and was confirmed by Dindo Manhit, President of Stratbase ADR Institute which commissioned the polls. The research organization later released results on its social media page.
Atty. Vic Rodriguez, chief of staff of Marcos, said in a statement that the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard bearer is “humbled” by the results, and will remain focused on taking the country out of the pandemic.
Marcos’ candidacy, however, is being questioned at the Commission on Elections over his tax evasion conviction in 1995. The Comelec has set November 26 as a preliminary conference for the case.
On the other hand, Robredo called her survey standing “very good news,” saying her team is not expecting her to place second until January or February next year.
She also said Marcos’ lead was “understandable.”
“More than 6 years na naghahanda iyong kalaban natin. Tayo, nag-decide tayo ng 11th hour,” said Robredo, who beat Marcos in the 2016 vice presidential race, said in a chance interview in Nueva Ecija.
“Pero the mere fact na mayroon lang tayong one month since the decision na gumalaw, tapos ganito na iyong tinaas, nagpapakita na kailangang maging very hopeful kasi hindi nga inaasahan iyong pagtaas (Our rival prepared for more than 6 years. We decided at the 11th hour. But the mere fact that we just had a month since we decided and the rise was like this shows that we need to be very hopeful.), ,” she told ABS-CBN.