FOR the first time since the campaign period started, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte edged out his contenders in the presidential derby to top the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The poll, conducted from March 30 to April 2, showed that 27 percent of the respondents picked Duterte. His rating went up by 4 percentage points from the 23 percent rating he got in the SWS survey held from March 8 to 11.
In the vice presidential survey, Sen.Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. remained the top choice of those polled as in previous surveys.
The latest poll was held after the second presidential debate in Cebu.
In the latest Pulse Asia survey released on April 1, the Davao mayor received 24 percent, tying with Vice President Jejomar Binay in second place. Sen. Grace Poe topped that survey with a rating of 28 percent.
Although Poe ranked second in the latest SWS survey with 23 percent, she suffered a huge drop from the 29 percent she got in the previous poll.
Given the survey’s margin of error +/-3, the senator was statistically tied with Binay who got 20 percent.
The Vice President jumped two points from his previous 18 percent.
At third place was administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd who got 18 percent.
Sen. Miriam Santiago had three percent.
The survey was done through face-to-face interviews with 1,500 respondents, 92 percent of whom are registered to vote on May 9.
Peter Laviña, Duterte’s spokesman, said the new SWS survey “affirms the other surveys that have Duterte [in]the clear lead in the presidential race.”
He added that the increase in support is likely the product of efforts “not just by our candidates and campaign teams but most important by our volunteers and support groups here and abroad.”
“We shall continue this campaign to gain even more support and be vigilant to thwart attempts to frustrate the true will of our electorate,” Lavina said.
But Duterte’s campaign manager, Leoncio Evasco Jr., said the team will not be complacent despite the mayor’s surge in the survey.
“It is not over until it is over,” Evasco added.
He urged Duterte’s supporters and volunteers to “make sure the support and the results of the surveys are translated into votes.”
“While we are elated with the results of the recent surveys, we still believe the final arbiter of who will be rightfully elected President [are]the people,” Evasco said.
Marcos remains on top
Of the candidates for Vice President, Marcos also pulled away with a rating of 26 percent. The score is almost the same as those he received in the past two surveys.
He also got 26 percent in the Bilang Pilipino-SWS mobile survey on March 30 and 25 percent in a face-to-face survey conducted from March 8 to 11.
Marcos’ closest rival, Sen. Francis Escudero, who had a score of 31 percent in the March 30 survey, got 21 percent in the First Quarter survey, shedding seven percentage points from his ratings in early March.
Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo was in a statistical tie with Escudero at 19 percent. This was lower than the 25 percent she got on March 30 and the 22 percent she received in the March 8 to 11 survey.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who engaged Marcos in a verbal tussle during the vice presidential debate on Sunday, had the support of 13 percent of respondents, about the same score that he received in the two surveys in March.
Sen. Gregorio Honasan 2nd had a score of five percent. Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th also got a score of five percent.
But Marcos said he will continue to work hard despite topping the SWS survey.
“With barely a month to go before the May polls, we take this latest news as an inspiration to persevere and work even harder in the last stretch of the campaign season,” he added in a statement.
Duterte and Marcos also topped a mock election held on Sunday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
In the mock election conducted by the 641-strong Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Paliparan ng Pilipinas, Duterte got 306 votes, followed by Binay, 181; Poe 52; Santiago, 32; and Roxas, 23.
For Vice President, Marcos got 425 votes; Escudero, 50; Robredo, 49; Cayetano, 46; Honasan, 10; and Trillanes, 7.
The camp of Binay welcomed the results of the latest survey, saying it is a sign of his “steady rise” as the May 9 polls near.
“A closer reading of the SWS results shows downward movements for both Mayor Duterte and Senator Poe. On the part of the Vice President, he is grateful for the results. Despite the negativity and hatred being spread against the Vice President, his steady rise shows the strength of his core supporters,” Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman, said.
He added that the Vice President will “work harder, together with our various support groups, as election day nears.”
WITH JOEL M. SY EGCO AND BENJIE VERGARA