POSTSCRIPT / November 16, 2021 / Tuesday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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SWS poll: BBM 47%, Leni 18%, Isko 13%

A SURVEY on presidential preferences conducted by the Social Weather Stations Oct. 20-23 showed ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on top with 47 percent of respondents, followed by Vice President Leni Robredo with 18 percent and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno with 13 percent.

The Stratbase ADR Institute Inc., an international strategic research organization, confirmed to The Philippine STAR/One News.ph the results of the survey commissioned by it.

The other presidential aspirants on the lists shown to respondents were Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who garnered nine percent, and Sens. Ping Lacson and Bato dela Rosa who got five percent each. Some three percent of the respondents were undecided.

In the vice-presidential race, Senate President Tito Sotto led with 44 percent, followed by Davao Mayor Sara Duterte with 25 percent. Following them were Sen. Francis Pangilinan and Dr. Willie Ong with 13 percent each; and Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, three percent. The remaining two percent were undecided.

The survey lists did not include labor leader Leody de Guzman and former lawmaker Walden Bello who are running for president and vice president, respectively, under Partido Lakas ng Masa.

The poll was conducted before Mayor Sara Duterte formalized her vice-presidential bid on Nov. 13 as a substitute candidate of the Lakas-CMD.

Sen. Bong Go, who originally filed his certificate of candidacy for vice president, withdrew his CoC and ran instead for president under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan party. Dela Rosa also withdrew his CoC for president.

In the Senate race, the same survey showed in the lead pack broadcaster Raffy Tulfo, 60 percent; Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero, 51 percent; Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, 50 percent; Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, 45 percent; and Sen. Migz Zubiri, 44 percent.

Tied on sixth-seventh spots were former Vice President Jojo Binay and former Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, 40 percent each; Sen. Risa Hontiveros, 36 percent; former senator Jinggoy Estrada, 33 percent; actor Robin Padilla, 29 percent; broadcaster Noli De Castro, 28 percent; and Sen. Joel Villanueva, 27 percent. (De Castro later decided not to run for senator.)

Outside the “Magic 12” were Sen. Dick Gordon and former senator JV Ejercito with 26 percent each; Sen. Win Gatchalian, 25 percent; former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista, 16 percent; and former senator Gringo Honasan, 23 percent.

Trailing them were former senator Sonny Trillanes, 21 percent; Sen. Leila de Lima, 11 percent; human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, 10 percent; former defense secretary Gibo Teodoro, nine percent; former congressmen Neri Colmenares and Monsour del Rosario, seven percent each; and former agriculture secretary Manny Piñol, six percent.

The technical details of the survey were not disclosed by Stratbase, a think tank chaired by former Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario.

 Sara to heed GMA or her dad?

DAVAO Mayor Sara Duterte had until 5 p.m. yesterday to decide if she would revert to running for president under her new party, the Lakas-CMD, or continue as the running mate of presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos in a political marriage of convenience.

The 43-year-old daughter of President Duterte had at least three options: (1) heed the wish of her father to see her run and win as his successor, (2) follow a plan allegedly pushed by former President Gloria M. Arroyo to cast her as vice president of Marcos, and (3) listen to the cries of her loyalists in Hugpong ng Pagbabago who did not want to lose her as their mayor.

An extreme option is for her to drop everything in exasperation, an unlikely escape from the muddled situation. The confusion actually swirls only around Sara, as other presidential aspirants look very much settled and focused on moving forward.

President Duterte has expressed surprise why Sara agreed to slide to being the VP partner of Bongbong when, he said, she had higher survey ratings than him. Marcos’ party, the Partido Federal Pilipino, kept her at arm’s length and merely “endorsed” her as his running mate.

The President has threatened to revive his plan to run for vice president, a maneuver that would put him on a collision course with his headstrong daughter. It was not clear why he would want to do that, but he had until 5 p.m. yesterday to do it.

He explained that he and Sara have not been in close consultation lately, hinting that her running as VP partner of the late dictator’s son was not her idea but that of Marcos.

Other accounts attribute to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a supposed plan to cast Sara with Bongbong in a Duterte-Marcos alliance that could sweep national positions at stake in the May 2022 elections.

Sara flew Thursday on a private jet to Balesin island to attend the birthday bash of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Lakas-CMD president and a cousin of Marcos who was expected to be there too.

Having dropped earlier her reelection bid as mayor, she was looking forward to occupying as a substitute one of the slots held by Lakas-CMD nominees for president or vice president. She eventually chose the one for vice president.

Marcos went straight to Cavite, where he was to stand with Sara as a sponsor in the wedding of a daughter of Sen. Bong Revilla. From Balesin, Sara jetted to Cavite for the wedding.

After Sara’s CoC for vice president was filed Saturday, Sens. Bato dela Rosa and Go withdrew their presidential and vice-presidential bids, respectively, under PDP-Laban. Later, Go filed for president by substitution under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan.

Sara explained in a video message posted Sunday on her Facebook page: “I have thousands of supporters who cried last Oct. 8 (filing of CoC for mayor) and I cannot find it in my heart to make them cry again on Nov. 15 (substituting for the VP post).” Running for VP, she said, gave her a chance “to heed your call to serve our country”.

(First published in the Philippine STAR of November 16, 2021)

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