Duterte-backed senatorial bets dominate April survey

MANILA Senatorial candidates endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte himself dominated the latest Pulse Asia Survey conducted just a month before the May 13 mid-term elections.

The survey, conducted from April 10 to 14 this year, showed that there were eight administration-backed bets included in the so-called winning circle or top 14 candidates with a statistical chance of winning if the elections were held during the survey period.

Of the eight administration-backed bets, three belong to the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino�Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party, which the President chairs, and five are guest candidates.

The three PDP-Laban candidates are former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Go (40.8 percent) who is ranked 4th to 8th places; former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Ronald dela Rosa (36.7 percent), ranked 5th to 9th places; and reelectionist Senator Aquilino Pimentel III (31.8 percent), ranked 10th to 14th places.

Guest candidates endorsed by the President included in the top 14 list are Senator Cynthia Villar (51.7 percent), who is ranked first and second places; Taguig City Representative Pia Cayetano (43.9 percent), ranked 3rd to 6th places; reelectionist Senator Juan Edgardo Angara (40.4 percent), ranked 4th to 9th places; Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos (29.6 percent), ranked 10th to 14th places; and, reelectionist Senator JV Estrada Ejercito (28.1 percent), ranked 10th to 16th places.

Meanwhile, candidates who are also in the winning circle but not endorsed by the President are reelectionist Senator Grace Poe (50.5 percent), ranked 1st and 2nd places; former Senator Lito Lapid (45.7 percent), ranked 3rd to 4th places; former Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. (38.1 percent), ranked 5th to 9th places; reelectionist Senator Nancy Binay (36.2 percent), ranked 6th to 9th places; former Senator Jinggoy Estrada (28.8 percent), ranked 10th to 14th places; and, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV (28.8 percent), ranked 10th to 14th places.

Former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas skidded out of the winning group and is now at the 14th to 17th places with a voter preference of 24.5 percent.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo welcomed these survey results, stressing Duterte's strong endorsement appeal or power to endorse his candidates.

Ibig sabihin iyong mga tao naniniwala kay Presidente. It means malakas ang kanyang endorsement appeal (This shows that the people believe in the President. It means, he has a strong endorsement appeal), Panelo said in a Palace briefing on Tuesday (April 30).

Panelo said even if opposition candidates would get a spot in the Magic 12, it would only mean that Filipinos elected these bets to help the Duterte administration.

Pag ikaw ay pinanalo ng taumbayan, ang mensahe sa iyo: 'kaya kita pinanalo diyan ay para tulungan mo iyong pinagkakatiwalaan naming Presidente, hindi para manggulo ka (If the people elected you, the message is this: 'the reason why we elected you is so that you could help the President we trust, not to cause dissension), Panelo said.

Asked if more administration-bet candidates winning during elections would mean a stronger chance for the proposed shift to a federalism system of government, Panelo said it will still be up to the framers of the Constitution and Filipino people to decide.

Federalism would have to depend on the framers of the Constitution and ultimately will depend on the approbation of the Filipino people, Panelo said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency