By Raynan F. Javil

Roxas, Robredo jump in Duterte-led poll

Posted on May 05, 2016

DAVAO CITY Mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo R. Duterte maintained his lead over his rivals, while the ruling Liberal Party’s (LP) tandem saw their ratings jump in Pulse Asia’s latest survey.

The ABS-CBN-commissioned survey was conducted from April 26 to 29 among 4,000 registered voters interviewed face-to-face. It has a ± 1.5 margin of error at the 95% confidence level.

The survey was also conducted amid allegations by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV’s about Mr. Duterte’s undeclared deposits. The tough-talking mayor has been running on the platform of ridding the country of criminality and corruption.

Mr. Duterte maintained his lead with 33% of overall voter preference -- a flat figure, to be sure, from his showing in Pulse Asia’s April 19 to 24 survey, also commissioned by the broadcasting network.

On the other hand, the LP’s Manuel A. Roxas II, who had been trailing in the previous surveys, rose 2 percentage points to 22% and now shared second place with Senator Grace Poe (at 21%).

In the vice-presidential race, Mr. Roxas’s running mate, Rep. Maria Leonor G. Robredo, rose 4 percentage points to 30%. Pulse Asia said Ms. Robredo “now finds herself tied for first place” with Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. who slipped 3 percentage points to 28%.

Vice-President and United Nationalist Alliance standard-bearer Jejomar C. Binay dropped a percentage point to 17% while Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago remained at a flat 2%.

By areas, Mr. Duterte has a runaway lead in his home region, Mindanao, with 58%, followed by Mr. Roxas with 22% and Ms. Poe with 11%.

In the National Capital Region, Mr. Duterte shot up 6 percentage points to 40%, followed by Ms. Poe’s 25% and Mr. Binay’s 19%.

In the rest of Luzon, Ms. Poe, went down a percentage point but was still the top pick with 28%. Mr. Binay placed second with 22% and Mr. Duterte, third, with 21%.

Mr. Roxas regained his lead in his home region, the Visayas, with 38%. Mr. Duterte’s rating dropped 6 percentage points to 26% while Ms. Poe registered 17%.

Mr. Duterte remained the most favored candidate across all classes -- ABC with 37%, D with 33%, and E, with 31%.

In the vice-presidential race, Ms. Poe’s running mate and early front-runner Senator Francis Joseph G. Escudero recorded 18% voters’ preference while Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano remained flat at 15%.

Senators Gregorio B. Honasan and Trillanes are still at the bottom of the survey with 3% and 2% percent, respectively.

Sought for comment, University of Santo Tomas political science professor Edmund S. Tayao said he was “surprised” by Mr. Duterte’s steady ratings despite the controversies over his rape joke and other comments.

Mr. Tayao also noted Mr. Roxas’s rise as “something unexpected” as “it never happened before.” He said this could be because “of the machinery of the administration,” but qualified this machinery “could mean anything.”

With regard to the vice-presidential race, Mr. Tayao noted that Ms. Robredo’s and Mr. Marcos’s ratings have been “continuously going up from the time the campaign started.”

He said Ms. Robredo’s being “new is an advantage,” because “a new name is suggestive of something new that may be offered or could be considered as an alternative [and] this may have resonated to the voters already.”

Mr. Marcos’s name is “both an advantage and a disadvantage,” Mr. Tayao said.

“It’s a close race” between Mr. Duterte and Ms. Poe for the presidency and Ms. Robredo and Mr. Marcos for the vice-presidency, the analyst pointed out.

Akbayan party-list Rep. and LP spokesperson Ibarra M. Gutierrez said Mr. Roxas “is on track to win the May 9 elections.” Mr. Roxas and Ms. Robredo “have acknowledged [the] shortcomings [of the administration] and have committed to remedy them,” the spokesperson added.

For his part, Ms. Poe’s spokesperson, Valenzuela City Mayor Rexlon T. Gatchalian, said: “We will continue to use the detailed information of this survey as guide for our next moves.” He added they are “confident that all the necessary preparations... are now in place... and this will bring Senator Grace to victory.”

Meanwhile, in Iloilo City, reelectionist senatorial candidate Franklin M. Drilon said in a miting de avance speech on Tuesday night that he would be “useless” in the Senate if the Roxas-Robredo tandem fails to win in the May 9 elections.

“This is a request coming from my heart for the continued progress of the city and province,” the senatorial front-runner told a crowd estimated at 10,000.

For his part, Mr. Roxas in his speech said: “Sa sunod nga kitaay ta, presidente na si Mar Roxas (The next time we meet, Mar Roxas is already a president).”

Abot-kamay na naton ang number one nga posisyon (The number one position is already within our reach),” he also said. -- with Louine Hope U. Conserva