The disqualification cases filed against former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Grace Poe have turned off potential supporters for their presidential bids,
Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, a nephew of Duterte, said.
“If the situation does not change and the disqualification cases against Mayor Rody remain pending in the Comelec (Commission on Elections), then we cannot expect the numbers to change for the better. We are aware that there are supporters who like to come out, but are afraid all would be for naught if Mayor Duterte is disqualified,” Nograles said.
“The same is true with the case of Senator Poe,” he added.
Several disqualification cases were filed against Duterte at the Comelec. All petitions question the validity of the former mayor’s substitution for Martin Diño who petitioners claimed is running for mayor of Pasay City.
Poe is also facing several disqualification cases at the Comelec and Supreme Court. She was earlier disqualified by the poll body for not being a natural-born Filipino and for failing to meet the residency requirement set by law for presidential candidates.
In the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, Vice President Jejomar Binay edged out his contenders, leaving Poe on second place. Duterte was ranked fourth.
“That is why we are calling on the Comelec to speed up the dismissal of disqualification cases against Mayor Rody. They should not fear his candidacy. In any case, we are thankful to those who continue to support Mayor Rody. We call on them to keep that trust that change is coming,” Nograles said.
Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, who is running for senator under Poe’s Galing at Puso ticket, also blamed the Comelec disqualification cases for the dip in Poe’s ratings.
“The disinformation and confusion were brought about by the disqualification cases. We need to step up our information drive that Senator Grace is a candidate and the people can vote for her,” Romulo said.
In the SWS January 2016 survey, Poe’s rating went down to 24 percent, two points behind Binay’s 26 percent.
The High Court has scheduled oral arguments on Poe’s case for January 19,2016.
Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, also a Senate bet of Poe, said the disqualification cases had confused the public.
“Some people are just mistaken that the Comelec disqualification is permanent. That is not accurate and her newest ad clarifies her candidacy,” Gatchalian said.
But the administration camp attributed Binay’s rise in the presidential survey to premature campaigning and splurging on advertisements.
“The results are not surprising. Once Binay occupied his post as Vice President, he has been campaigning to be the next President. And just last month, he spent P700 million for his advertisements and yet, he is yet to tell us where all these money came from,” Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez of Akbayan party-list said.