FORMER senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. kept his lead in Pulse Asia Research, Inc.’s presidential opinion poll last month, even as his rating fell.
In a statement, Pulse Asia said 56% of Filipinos would vote for the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, 4 percentage points lower than his February rating.
He remained the top pick for president in the Visayas, Mindanao, the National Capital Region and the rest of Luzon, even if his numbers decreased. He was also the top choice across socioeconomic classes C, D and E.
Still in second place was Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo, whose rating rose by nine points to 24%.
Pulse Asia conducted the poll on March 17-21, after the first official presidential debate that Mr. Marcos failed to join.
Ms. Robredo’s rating increase was caused by significant jumps in Balance Luzon (from 16% to 30%), the Visayas (19% to 28%) and Mindanao (5% to 14%). Her rating in Manila, the capital, and nearby cities also rose by a point.
Her numbers increased among the classes C (17% to 30%), D (14% to 24%) and E (13% to 22%).
She was followed by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” M. Domagoso (8%), Senator Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao (6%), Senator Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson (2%), businessman Faisal Mangondato (1%), former Cabinet official Ernesto C. Abella (0.1%), cardiologist Jose C. Montemayor, Jr. (0.05%) and labor leader Leodegario “Ka Leody” de Guzman (0.02%).
Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio was the top pick for vice-president, with 56% of Filipinos backing her candidacy. She was followed by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III with 20%.
In third place was Senator Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan (15%), followed by cardiologist Willie T. Ong with 5% and party-list lawmaker Jose Livioko “Lito” Atienza, Jr. (1%.).
Pulse Asia interviewed 2,400 adults for the poll, which had an error margin of ±2 percentage points.
Meanwhile, Ms. Robredo was the most preferred candidate of Filipino voters who want to see change in the next government, WR Numero Research said, citing a 2021 poll.
In a statement, the research firm said the vice-president was the choice of 41.6% of Filipinos who disagree with how President Rodrigo R. Duterte has run the government.
Mr. Marcos came in second with 26.95%, followed by Mr. Domagoso with 11.8%.
WR Numero said Ms. Robredo was also the second choice of voters who preferred partial continuity, with 16.49% of respondents expecting her to continue and reform the policies of Mr. Duterte, whose war on drugs has killed thousands.
She followed Mr. Marcos who got 44.38% but was ahead of Mr. Domagoso who got 13.2%.
Mr. Marcos, who is leading in most presidential opinion polls, attended the 75th birthday dinner of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday.
The event took place in Quezon City, a day after the former leader asked supporters and members of political dynasties in Pampanga province to vote for Mr. Marcos and his running mate.
Ms. Arroyo’s father, the late President Diosdado P. Macapagal, Sr. and the late dictator were bitter rivals in the Liberal Party, the political group of Ms. Robredo.
The elder Mr. Marcos left the Liberal Party and joined the Nacionalista Party to run against Mr. Macapagal for president in 1965.
Mr. Macapagal and his daughter helped the anti-dictatorship movement, which later opposed Ms. Arroyo’s rule after alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential election.
The government under her successor Benigno S.C. Aquino III indicted her for election sabotage, for which she was arrested in Nov. 2011 while confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City.
She was transferred to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City a month later and was released from hospital arrest on bail in July 2012.
Three months later, she refused to enter a plea on charges she misused $8.8 million in state lottery funds while she was president, for which she got arrested again and placed on hospital arrest
In July 2016, the Supreme Court dismissed the corruption charges against her and ordered her release from the hospital where she had been detained since 2012. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza