Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio held a formidable lead if the presidential elections were held last June, the survey company Pulse Asia said Tuesday.
Its survey, conducted from June 7 to 16, showed the presidential daughter had a substantial lead among the 2,400 respondents interviewed, 28 percent of whom said they would vote for Duterte-Carpio.
In the presidential race, she was followed by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with 14 percent, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with 13 percent, and Senator Grace Poe with 10 percent.
Boxing champion and Senator Manny Pacquiao, who wants to run for president under the banner of the ruling PDP-Laban, had 8 percent, while Vice President Leni Robredo, leader of the opposition, received 6 percent. Senator Panfilo Lacson had 4 percent, while Senator Christopher Go, who President Duterte supports, got 3 percent.
The Davao mayor has been non-committal about a presidential run in 2022, but her allies are pushing hard with a “Run Sara Run” campaign, over the objections raised by her father, the President.
Moreno has said he will definitely run next year, but has not said which position he will seek.
Marcos, Poe, and Robredo have remained mum about their political plans. Marcos, who lost the vice presidential race in 2016 to Robredo, is being eyed for a second vice presidential run under the banner of the Nacionalista Party.
It is unclear if Robredo will agree to be the standard bearer for the opposition Liberal Party.
Pacquiao, who has had a public falling out with President Duterte, has also shown an interest in running for the highest elective position next year.
Lacson, who, along with Senate President Vicente Sotto III, have started their “Tour of Luzon” to get the pulse of the public on various issues, has not yet decided if he is running for president. Sotto, who wants to be his running mate, said they will make anannouncement on Aug. 6.
Go has repeatedly said he will not seek higher office. Former vice president Jejomar Binay, Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Cayetano and former senator Antonio Trillanes IV all received 2 percent in the Pulse Asia survey.
Others on the Pulse Asia list that received less than 1 percent were Senator Richard Gordon and former associate justice Antonio Carpio, who both got 0.3 percent.
Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, both got 0.1 percent.
In the vice presidential race, 18 percent of the respondents favored President Duterte, who most recently said he was open to running for the post, while Moreno got 14 percent, putting both in a statistical tie because of the 2 percent margin of error.
Others in the race were Sotto, with 10 percent, Marcos with 10 percent, Pacquiao with 9 percent, Cayetano with 8 percent, and Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero with 7 percent.
Escudero was followed by Go, who had 5 percent, TV host Willie Revillame, with 4 percent and Senator Juan Edgardo Angara with 3 percent.
Trillanes and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar both got 2 percent while Teodoro received 1 percent.
Those who got below 1 percent were Alvarez (0.3 percent) and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno (0.2 percent).
Pacquiao and Moreno were at the top of the respondents’ preferences for senator. Duterte-Carpio, broadcaster Raffy Tulfo, Cayetano and Escudero followed.
The national survey was conducted on June 7 to 16 using face-to-face interviews with 2,400 adult Filipinos.
The poll has a ±2 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who was recently expelled from his post as vice chairman of the PDP-Laban, said Duterte-Carpio would likely be the presidential bet of the ruling party, saying she was “more PDP” than Pacquiao, who had expelled him.
Paquiao expelled Cusi for supporting Duterte-Carpio, who is not a member of the party, in violation of party rules.
But in an interview on ANC, Cusi said PDP-Laban will likely back the Davao mayor.
“There is a process if we are going to endorse a candidate… Whether you are a member of PDP or an outsider," he said.
In the same interview, Cusi said Pacquiao may face expulsion from the PDP-Laban after he embarked on a "character assassination” of President Duterte, the party’s national chairman.
President Duterte, meanwhile, said he hoped Trillanes and jailed Senator Leila de Lima would win in elections next year, so they would “get a taste of how difficult the presidency is.”
He once again expressed his opposition to a presidential run by his daughter, saying he wanted to spare her from the “vagaries of politics here in the Philippines, especially from… the likes of Trillanes and De Lima.”
“All they do is attack their fellowmen. So I would rather give them the government. Let them win. I wish them luck and even wish them to win – if they can win – so that this government will be all theirs and they can do what they want,” he added.
Also on Tuesday, Cayetano urged presidential hopefuls to come up with a five-year economic recovery plan that could be implemented by the new administration.
His plan, he said, would involve P10,000 in cash aid monthly for every household over the next five years.
He said, however, that the government must not focus on relief alone, there must be recovery and reformation. "Cash aid is just a form of temporary relief. It is a one time help for our people. There must be recovery and reformation."