While majority of Metro Manila’s reelectionist local executives are expected to keep their posts in the 2022 elections, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is in danger of losing to her challenger, according to the results of an independent non-commissioned survey.
The biggest upset in Metro Manila could be the unseating of Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, who is falling behind challenger Rep. Mike Defensor, the polling firm Issues and Advocacy Center (IAC) said.
Defensor is enjoying a double-digit lead over Belmonte based on IAC’s Sept. 27 to Oct. 8 “Pulso ng Bayan” survey.
On the question of whom they will vote if the elections for mayor were held on the survey period, 41 percent of Quezon City respondents said they will vote for Defensor, while 27 percent said they will vote for Belmonte.
Responding to the survey results, Defensor’s vice mayoral running mate, former three-term Rep. Winnie Castelo, said: “The people of Quezon City clearly want change, and we believe in their ability to create change.”
The survey results showed Defensor leading Belmonte in all socioeconomic classes from ABC, D and E, according to IAC director Ed Malay.
“If this trend continues, there could be a new mayor for the storied city in 2022,” said Malay, a member of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR).
Malay recalled that Quezon City’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic was disorganized and chaotic, which led to a spike in new infections.
“Belmonte never recovered politically from her ‘disappearing act’ last year while city residents were bracing for a harsh lockdown and desperately seeking strong leadership at the onset of the crisis,” Castelo said.
Due to Belmonte’s absence, city residents took to social media platforms and even created the puzzle game that they called “Finding Mayor.”
Belmonte eventually surfaced by distributing health kits contained in bags with her name on it, drawing even more resentment from the people.
“In sharp contrast, Mike and his fraternity brothers at the University of the Philippines used Viber and Facebook to launch Act as One and mobilized volunteers to help fight the pandemic in the city,” Castelo said.
“In fact, many of the city’s public and private hospitals got their first supplies of personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers from Act as One, which also distributed relief goods to poor households,” he pointed out.