The failure of the eight senatorial candidates running under “Otso Diretso” to enter the “Winning Circle” is a strong indication that the Filipino voters approve of the way President Rodrigo Duterte is running the government, an official said Wednesday.
“It is clear based on the numbers that our people approve of the direction of the administration, and want continuity,” said Senator Aquilino Pimentel III who is running for reelection this month.
The PDP-Laban president said the strong showing of the administration’s senatorial candidates “reflects the public’s support for the Duterte administration and shows that voters appreciate what the current government has done to improve their lives.
“These surveys, and ultimately the elections two weeks from now, are a referendum of the current government,” Pimentel said.
Nobody among the senatorial candidates from the opposition, including reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino, entered the “Magic 12,” which is led by Senator Cynthia Villar of the Nacionalista Party.
Aquino aside, the other Otso Diretso candidates, who were all lagging behind in the latest survey conducted April 10 to 14 are Mar Roxas, Neri Colmenares, Samira Gutoc, Chel Diokno, Romy Macalintsal, Gary Alejano and Erin Tanada.
“None of the senatorial candidates from the opposition slate placed in the top 12 in the latest Pulse Survey, which polled 1,800 likely voters 18 years old and above,” Pimentel said.
On the other hand, nine of the 13 senatorial candidates being endorsed by the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago, the regional political party founded by presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, made it to the “Winning Circle.”
Apart from Villar and Pimentel, they are Pia Cayetano, Bong Go, Sonny Angara, Ramon Revilla, Ronald dela Rosa, Imee Marcos and Jinggoy Estrada.
The administration-backed candidates who failed to make it to the Top 12 are Senators JV Ejercito, Francis Tolentino, Dong Mangudadato and Jiggy Manicad.
Another reelectionist, Senator Grace Poe, an independent candidate, was ranked No. 2 while the returning Lito Lapid occupied the third spot. Reelectionist Nancy Binay was No. 9.
Pimentel also attributed the performance of the administration candidates to the slate’s efforts to conduct a positive, productive, platform-based campaign.
“We believe that when it comes to convincing voters, it is better to focus on what we have done and what we plan to do, rather than bickering with our opponents,” Pimentel said.
The latest survey, conducted a month before the May 13 national and local elections, showed Pimentel and Ejercito’s biggest jump from their previous ranking.
Placing No. 10, Pimentel, chairman of the Senate’s Trade and Commerce Committee, climbed four spots from the previous poll conducted by Pulse Asia from March 23 to 27. He entered the winning circle.
On the other hand, Ejercito climbed to the 10th to 16th spot from 16th to 17th in the Pulse Asia survey on March 23 to March 27.