Malacanang expressed gratitude Tuesday over the results of the pre-election survey which showed that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, were top picks for the 2022 presidential and vice presidential derbies, respectively.
In an online press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque thanked the public for their continued trust in Duterte and his daughter.
“We are thankful for the public’s continued trust in our President and Mayor Sara Duterte,” Roque said in Filipino.
He said the poll results signified the public’s “overwhelming support” for Duterte and his daughter.
Both Sara and her father have expressed willingness to seek the presidency and vice presidency, respectively.
OCTA Research, in its Tugon ng Masa National Survey from July 12 to 18, found that 28 percent of 1,200 adult Filipinos have expressed support to Sara’s potential presidential bid in 2022.
Sara was followed by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos (13 percent), Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso (11 percent), and Senators Grace Poe and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao (10 percent each).
Other preferred presidential aspirants – they are not yet candidates – for next year’s national elections include Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni Robredo and Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (5 percent each), Senator Christopher Lawrence Go (4 percent), Senate President Vicente Sotto III (3 percent), Senator Panfilo Lacson and former vice president Jejomar Binay (2 percent each).
Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II are the least preferred presidential bets, earning only 1 percent.
Duterte, meantime, topped the list of preferred candidates for the 2022 vice presidential race, registering a national voter preference of 18 percent.
Domagoso secured the second spot in terms of the preferred vice presidential candidates, getting 11 percent.
Following Domagoso were Cayetano and Poe (10 percent each), Marcos (9 percent), Sotto (7 percent), Pacquiao (6 percent), former Senator Francis Escudero (6 percent), Go and Lacson (4 percent each), and Trillanes 2 percent).
The possible vice presidential bets who received a voter preference of 1 percent were Robredo, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Senators Francis Pangilinan, and Ralph Recto, human rights lawyer Manuel Diokno, former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro, and Leyte Rep. Lucy Marie Torres-Gomez.
The non-commissioned poll used a ±3 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon branded Tuesday as “not realistic” avoiding talks about politics, especially with the 2022 elections looming.
In a statement issued by Sen. Nancy Binay, she said the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) had decided to put on hold “all matters concerning alliances, coalitions, and other political activities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives and economy, and with the unfolding of another wave of infections brought by new variants that may likely compromise public health and cripple healthcare institutions.”
Binay, UNA president, said politics was aggravating a public health issue and was hampering the government’s level of response.
“This is why UNA would rather put a high premium in ensuring the health and safety of the people than concern itself with 2022,” UNA said.
But Drilon stressed: “not to talk about politics at this stage is not realistic but that should not prejudice our efforts to address the pandemic.”
“Now is the time for Filipino voters to scrutinize who among the prospective candidates for 2022 will best handle the country’s response to the pandemic.
“The people will have to examine the candidates who would be in the best position to respond to the problems that we face today.”
“Whether we like it or not, people are preparing for next year’s election without prejudice, of course, to the efforts on the pandemic.”
Drilon also contradicted former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s misgivings on Vice President Leni Robredo’s meetings with two senators.
“I don’t agree with (former) Senator Trillanes that we should not talk with other prospective candidates. I think we should have a big tent wherein we can attract all sectors who believe that the next administration should not be identified with the present administration and therefore a broader coalition is necessary,” Drilon said.
Earlier, Trillanes said the opposition should not sacrifice its core principles solely in the name of winning the elections.
Meanwhile, former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expressed dismay with the way the Duterte administration was handling the affairs of the government, particularly the coronavirus pandemic.
Alvarez, who used to be a Duterte ally, said he regretted having supported President Duterte when the latter ran for president in 2016 because his “high expectations” for the chief executive were not met.
“For me, having supported the President when he ran, my expectations were high. Now, his term is about to end, I should be frank enough to say that I am disappointed “ Alvarez said in Filipino.
Alvarez in particular cited what he called the government’s lapses in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic where many are still dying from the disease.
“If we compare it with Vietnam, the handling of the pandemic there is better than ours. What happened? Why are we still here? A lot of people are dying, and the needs of the hospitals are lacking,” Alvarez stressed.
In related developments, Malacañang gave assurances there were safeguards under the Omnibus Election Code that would prevent the administration from using the budget of agencies and departments for election purposes.
This, after Drilon criticized the Duterte administration’s plan to double the budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to PHP40-billion in the upcoming deliberations of the proposed 2022 national budget, saying the amount is clearly an “election giveaway.”
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque refused to comment on Drilon’s statement, saying the executive department’s 2022 National Expenditure Plan has yet to be released.
Roque said he had not even received a copy of the 2022 proposed national budget.
Roque pointed to a provision under the Omnibus Election Code that imposed a ban on infrastructure projects.
The NTF-ELCAC’s current P19.2-billion budget includes more than P16-billion that were distributed to around 820 insurgency-free barangays nationwide.
Meanwhile, Drilon urged the Commission on Audit to conduct a special audit of NTF-ELCAC funds to guide Congress in crafting the 2022 national budget and prevent corruption.
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